AUSTIN, Texas (October 26, 2012) – 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