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Friday, June 13, 2014

Nashua Whole Foods to open Aug. 19

NASHUA – The Whole Foods store in Turnpike Plaza at Exit 7 will open Aug. 19, the company has announced.

The 30,000-square-foot store at 255 Amherst St. will be the company’s first store in New Hampshire. ...

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NASHUA – The Whole Foods store in Turnpike Plaza at Exit 7 will open Aug. 19, the company has announced.

The 30,000-square-foot store at 255 Amherst St. will be the company’s first store in New Hampshire.

Speaking at a meeting in Concord designed to connect the company with New Hampshire-based producers, Whole Food representatives said the store would employ 80 to 100 people, according to news reports.

Whole Food is moving into the location of a former Market Basket, which was vacated after that firm upgraded its grocery store at Somerset Plaza, a mile west on Route 101A.

Construction Management and Builders of Danvers, Mass., has been tearing apart the building since late winter in preparation for the high-end grocery chain’s arrival. The footprint of the building will remain the same, but the exterior and interior appearance are notably different.

The other stores in the four-decade-old plaza – Bob’s, Staples and A.C. Moore – have remained open.

A stand-alone Papa Gino’s was torn down in January after 33 years in the plaza to make room for more parking. It is expected to reopen in a new plaza being built across the street in place of the former Nashua Motor Sports.

Whole Foods, based in Austin, Texas, has been one of the fastest-growing grocery chains in the country for years, based on its reputation for organic, locally grown and other high-end foods.

In recent months, however, the entry of other chains into this retail business – even Wal-Mart plans to sell organic groceries – has presented some challenges. Whole Foods missed analysts’ estimates for sales and earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal year, and cut its profit estimate.

Whole Foods plans to open its second New Hampshire location in downtown Portsmouth in 2016.

Its nearest store to Nashua is in Andover, Mass.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Brooks on Twitter (@GraniteGeek).