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Grocery Wars: Worse than The Fro-yo Battles?

There is so much going on in the world of supermarket retail in LA, we can barely keep up with the flow of email into our inbox. Doesn't anybody just grab take out anymore?

It looks like with all the competition building from Tesco, TJs, Whole Foods, Gelsons, and Ralph's, Pavilions is feeling the heat, especially in Weho. Writes one reader: "The dominant grocery store in the Beverly Hills/West Hollywood border on Santa Monica west of Robertson has posted a sign that they have applied to the city of West Hollywood to demolish the present store and rebuild from the ground up (the sign is on the store near the Santa Monica entrance)."

And yet another Tesco/Fresh & Easy applies for its liquor license. The Moorpark store just filed their ABC license application.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes its getting ugly. Despite Whole Foods' hippie/bobo image, they're actually bulldogs in hemp clothing. It seems that when the FTC was building its antitrust case to block Whole Food's Wild Oats acquisition, it talked to a few of Whole Food's competitors to learn more about the grocery industry. Whole Foods is now requesting those documents, with lawyers for the FTC trying to cockblock the grocery chain from getting hold of them.

Know what's even uglier than a bunch of lawyers batteling over the right to sell expensive, locally grown, organic produce?

Labor disputes. Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway have two more weeks to reach an agreement with their unions. Will we get a repeat of the strike we saw 3 years ago?