Is this good or bad? I don't think that it can hurt. Take a look at the coverage in Bloomberg and Rocky Mountain News. I like both Whole Foods and Wild Oats. They provide good food, many items that you can't get anywhere else, and good service. But the one thing that hurts them is the fact that they are so expensive.
The two chains built their business on selling organic food when it was tough to find organic food. Now that everyone is selling it, mainly Safeway. Safeway has come out with a line of organics that is a lot cheaper than products that are similar at Whole Foods or Wild Oats. They are even pushing them on their website.
Another store, that is not in Colorado, is Trader Joe's. They offer similar products and organic food at a lot lower price than Whole Foods or Wild Oats. I bet the competition is quite fierce. I would love to have Trader Joe's move into the Colorado market.
I may have to check out Vitamin Cottage. These tend to be smaller stores but apparently have good service and prices. That is what Al Lewis of the Denver Post thinks in his blog post this afternoon, "Whole Foods announces plans to swallow Wild Oats whole". They may be worth a try.
This acquisition can only benefit the two chains. I hope it works. The have a good product and hopes that it gets better.