Friday, October 2, 2015


Labaton Sucharow Files Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Investors in Whole Foods Market

NEW YORK (October 2, 2015) — Labaton Sucharow LLP filed a securities class action lawsuit on October 2, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on behalf of all those who purchased or otherwise acquired Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods) securities between August 9, 2013 and July 30, 2015, inclusive (the class period). Whole Foods’ common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol WFM.  

Whole Foods is a leading retailer of natural and organic food products headquartered in Austin, Texas. Whole Foods, known for charging premium prices, seeks to leverage high quality standards to “attract and maintain a broad base of loyal customers.”  As of May 7, 2015, the company had approximately 420 stores worldwide.

The complaint charges Whole Foods and certain of its officers with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that certain defendants made false and misleading statements and concealed material information relating to Whole Foods’ business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Whole Foods routinely overstated the weight of its pre-packaged products and overcharged customers; and (2) as a result, defendants’ statements regarding Whole Foods’ business, operations, and prospects were false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

The complaint also alleges that the true state of Whole Foods’ business, operations, and prospects was revealed in two disclosures. First on May 6, 2015, Whole Foods announced second quarter results, including revenue below analysts’ expectations and also announced a new store concept offering “value prices…geared toward millennial shoppers.”  On this news, Whole Foods’ stock price declined from $47.72 per share at close on May 6, 2015 to close at $43.07 on May 7, 2015, or 9.7 percent. Thereafter the negative effect of Whole Foods’ overcharging practices was fully revealed to the market on July 29, 2015, when Whole Foods reported disappointing results and its weakest growth since the 2009 recession. In response, Whole Foods’ stock price fell $4.74 per share, or 11.6 percent, to close at $36.08 per share on July 30, 2015, on extraordinary trading volume.

If you purchased or acquired publicly traded WFM securities during the class period, you are a member of the “class” and may be able to seek appointment as lead plaintiff. Lead plaintiff motion papers must be filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas no later than October 5, 2015. A lead plaintiff is a court-appointed representative for absent members of the Class. You do not need to seek appointment as lead plaintiff to share in any class recovery in this action. If you are a class member and there is a recovery for the class, you can share in that recovery as an absent class member. You may retain counsel of your choice to represent you in this action.

If you would like to consider serving as lead plaintiff or have any questions about this lawsuit, you may contact Rachel A. Avan, Esq. of Labaton Sucharow, at (212) 907-0709, or via email at ravan@labaton.com