Natural Foods Merchandiser


Gaiam Discontinues VHS Format Products
Gaiam Inc. blamed a disappointing quarter on lower mass market sales, higher video markdowns and more returns as retailers and consumers shift from VHS to DVD. ?We want to be out of the VHS business by end of year,? said Gaiam Chief Executive Officer Jirka Rysavy. Domestic business fell 32 percent.

The Broomfield, Colo., mind-body products company will launch a marketing push into specialty stores for its organic cotton clothing line in the fourth quarter, while all Target stores will reset their Gaiam assortment into a 12-foot display that is three times larger than current displays in most stores, Gaiam President Lynn Powers said.

For the second quarter, ended June 30, Gaiam lost $2.2 million or 15 cents per share on revenue of $17 million. However, sales in the naturals channel and mainstream grocery rose 25 percent for Gaiam?s Healing Arts line of media and fitness products.

Organic Planet Buys Great Ocean Foods
Planet Organic Health Corp. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, added Great Ocean Natural Foods of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to its portfolio of natural foods supermarkets, supplements retailers and market stores. The (U.S.) $1.52 million acquisition buys Great Ocean?s single store, which posted $3.05 million in revenue in 2003. Earlier this summer, Planet Organic closed a $1.52 million private placement and paid $3.05 million in cash and stock for Sangster?s Health Centres, a 35-store chain with operations in seven provinces. It also announced a $4.57 million deal to acquire supplements manufacturer Trophic, based in Penticton, British Columbia. Planet Organic CEO Mark Croft stated in 2003 that he intends to build a $38.1 million business by the end of the decade.

NBTY Among Top 100 Growth Companies
With an average total return of 33 percent over three years, revenue growth of 24 percent and earnings-per-share growth of 33 percent, Bohemia, N.Y.-based NBTY gained admittance to Fortune magazine?s list of 100 fastest-growing companies in America, which appeared in the Sept. 6 issue. The vitamin manufacturer and retailer came in at No. 98 on the Fortune list, which ranks fast-growing companies with at least $50 million in market capitalization and annual revenue. NBTY was the only naturals company to make the list, which was topped by InVision Technologies, maker of airport X-ray machines.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 10/p. 54

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