The nation’s largest retailer plans to sell organic food at a bargain price.
Walmart (WMT) is partnering with the owner of Wild Oats to bring 100 Wild Oats-branded organic food products to about 2,000 Walmart stores this year. It will keep prices for the new packaged products at non-organic levels by forging long-term partnerships with suppliers and eliminating mid-level dealers. Walmart currently offers about 1,600 premium-priced organic food products, Reuters notes.
In addition to Wild Oats packaged products, Walmart indicated that it is exploring the idea of selling organic fresh foods as well. No other national chain currently carries Wild Oats products. Walmart’s pricing of Wild Oats products could apply pressure to other organic food producers. Walmart says its own research indicates that 91% of its shoppers would purchase organic products, if they were affordably priced.
Wild Oats was formerly the second biggest U.S. organic grocery chain. Whole Food Market (WFM) purchased the company in 2007, but later sold the brand name to investor Ron Burkle.
WMT stock rose slightly in Thursday morning trading. Walmart stock has gained about 1% over the past 12 months.
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