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Wild Oats Selects Tree of Life Inc. as Primary Distribution Partner

BOULDER, Colo. - Natural and organic foods retailer Wild Oats Markets Inc. announced it has signed a distribution contract with Tree of Life Inc., a global natural products distributor, as its primary national distribution partner for organic, natural and specialty food products. Tree of Life is a wholly owned subsidiary of multinational Netherlands-based food company, Koninklijke Wessanen nv.

"Tree of Life was selected as our distribution partner due to their extensive distribution and logistics expertise, as well as their advanced information systems and distribution technology," said Perry Odak, president and CEO of Wild Oats Markets Inc. "Tree of Life was able to provide us with competitive pricing and terms, and an ability to meet not only our current distribution and supply chain needs, but also future needs as we continue to grow our business."

Wild Oats expects this new distribution relationship will reduce current procurement and distribution costs through competitive product costs, consolidated management of freight and logistics, and reduced store expenses through consolidated deliveries. Additionally, Tree of Life will commit resources for marketing support, product line expansions, performance standards and growth objectives.

The three-year agreement with Tree of Life will commence on Sept. 1, 2002 with the expiration of Wild Oats' current distribution contract.

"We are committed to providing Wild Oats with exemplary customer service and logistical support for each of its locations," said Richard A. Thorne, chairman of Tree of Life. "Both organizations' management teams have significant experience executing and managing large-scale changes in distribution strategies and, as a result of thorough planning, we believe the transition will be seamless. Our experience working with companies of this size and scale, both nationally and internationally, will enable us to meet the needs of Wild Oats, both now and as the company accelerates its growth going forward."
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