Trader Joe's pursues former Wild Oats space on Marginal Way in Portland
PORTLAND — Documents filed with the Federal Trade Commission indicate Trader Joe's has agreed to acquire the former Wild Oats grocery store space on Marginal Way.
According to the FTC, the Monrovia, Calif.-based grocery store chain has an agreement to purchase the store from Whole Foods Market.
Whole Foods acquired the Wild Oats company in 2007, but was ordered by the FTC to divest several Wild Oats stores it purchased to help restore competition. It closed the 87 Marginal Way store, at the intersection with Preble Street, around the same time the Whole Foods on Somerset Street opened.
The FTC on March 10 announced it was seeking comments on the proposed acquisition until April 9.
Mitch Katz, a spokesman for the FTC, said that after the comment period is over, the commission will review the submissions and make its decision.
"It can take a few months, but typically it doesn't take that long," Katz said.
If the commission approves, Trader Joe's would be free to move ahead with the acquisition. There is no time frame the grocery store would have to follow, Katz said.
Portland-area residents have been pining for a Trader Joe's to come to the city for several years. A Facebook page called "Bring Trader Joe's to Portland, Maine!!!" has nearly 3,000 supporters.
The privately owned chain has 24 stores in New England, but none in Maine. There are nearly 340 Trader Joe's locations in the U.S.
Trader Joe's is known for its private-label products, affordable prices and products not found in other grocery stores. Last May, Consumer Reports ranked Trader Joe's as the second-best supermarket chain in the nation.
For more information or to comment, go to ftc.gov.
Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.