It's official: Johnnie's Fresh Market on Beacon Street in Brookline will become a Whole Foods.
According to press releases from both Foodmaster and Whole Foods Friday morning, the supermarket chain has agreed to transfer six Foodmaster locations in the Boston area to the Texas-based upscale supermarket company.
In addition to the supermarket on Beacon Street, the Johnnie's Foodmasters in Charlestown, Arlington, Somerville, Melrose and South Weymouth will be transferred to Whole Foods.
According to the announcement, those supermarkets will likely close sometime before Nov. 30, when the transfer is scheduled to be officially completed.
The announcement says Whole Foods will remodel the buildings and hopes to reopen them at the end of its 2013 fiscal year. Because the company's fiscal year ends at the end of September, that would mean the markets would reopen in late summer or early fall of 2013.
Reports that Whole Foods was interested in the Johnnie's Foodmaster sites surfaced in August. At the time, Somerville Patch readers .
Below is the press release from Johnnie's Foodmaster:
Johnnie’s Foodmaster announces transfer of six locations to Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market to purchase leases for six stores
John DeJesus, second-generation owner of Johnnie’s Foodmaster, officially announced today his decision to transfer six of Foodmaster’s ten locations across the Boston metro area to Whole Foods Market.
“The time was right to make this change for our company,” said DeJesus. “I am confident that we have found the best partner that offers the most positive outcome not only for our employees but for the communities as well.”
Whole Foods Market has agreed to become the tenant for the six Foodmaster locations; South Weymouth, Arlington, Charlestown, Brookline, Melrose and Beacon Street in Somerville, and has committed to offering interviews to all of those six stores’ employees with the goal of hiring as many as possible.
“We are so pleased that Mr. DeJesus has given us this opportunity at a time when we are looking to expand our presence in greater Boston,” said Laura Derba, president of Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic region. “Like Foodmaster, Whole Foods Market has a long history of supporting the communities we serve and we are excited to bring our fresh, quality foods at affordable prices to these six new market areas.”
DeJesus anticipates closing the operations at the six locations before the transaction is completed on November 30, 2012. Whole Foods Market plans to remodel the stores with the goal of re-opening all six before the end of its 2013 fiscal year.
“I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to the wonderful employees in the six locations who have provided excellent service to our loyal shoppers for so many years,” said DeJesus. “I also want to express my gratitude for the customers who have embraced Johnnie’s Foodmaster in these communities as their family grocer for more than 50 years.”
Below is the press release from Whole Foods Market:
Whole Foods Market® Acquires Leases to Six Johnnie’s Foodmaster Locations
Company to expand presence in Greater Boston to 26 stores
Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) today announced an agreement to purchase six leases from Johnnie’s Foodmaster, a family-owned grocery chain based in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The transaction is expected to close November 30, 2012. Johnnie’s Foodmaster will close all six locations prior to the closing date.
The six leases include South Weymouth, Arlington, Charlestown, Brookline, Melrose and Somerville and average 31,000 square feet in size. Whole Foods Market intends to remodel each location, with the goal of reopening all six stores before the end of its 2013 fiscal year. Whole Foods Market does not expect the transaction to be material to sales or earnings for fiscal year 2013.
“To have the opportunity to sell to a company like Whole Foods Market has made a tough decision much easier,” said John DeJesus, president of Johnnie’s Foodmaster. “I know that my employees and our loyal customers are in the best hands, and that the communities will benefit greatly from the product selection and shopping experience that Whole Foods Market offers.”
“We are so pleased that Mr. DeJesus has given us this opportunity at a time when we are looking to expand our presence in greater Boston,” said Laura Derba, president of Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic region. “Like Foodmaster, Whole Foods Market has a long history of supporting the communities we serve, and we are excited to bring our fresh, quality foods at affordable prices to these six new market areas.”
The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed, but as part of the agreement, Whole Foods Market has guaranteed interviews to all Johnnie’s Foodmaster employees at the six acquired locations with the goal of hiring as many as possible.
On November 7, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. CT, the Company will be hosting its fourth quarter earnings conference call and will address any investor-related questions regarding today’s announcement at that time. The dial-in number is (866) 952-1906, and the conference ID is “Whole Foods.” A simultaneous audio webcast will be available at www.wholefoodsmarket.com.
About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 72,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2011, the company had sales of more than $10 billion and currently has 339 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.