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Whole Foods reportedly plans to open four stores in Hawaii, with three stores on Oahu and one on Maui, all of which should be open by 2010.

While the company believes that the Whole Foods approach is ideal for the islands lifestyle, there are those who are concerned that the openings could be just the beginning of a series of store openings that could negatively impact local organic and natural foods retailers.

KC's View:
A word of advice to these local retailers. Start preparing now. Start competing now. Don't wait until the Whole Foods stores actually are open.

Figure out what your strengths are, and enhance them to the best of your ability. Then, figure out where your strengths overlap with Whole Foods’, and then start developing other strengths that the bigger chain cannot replicate. Know more about your customers than they do. Invest in your business, working to be both more productive and more efficient – in that order. Cater to their habits better than Whole Foods can. Make sure that you have the products that your customers want, when they want them, how they want them, where they want them, at a price that customers think is appropriate.