Home » Whole Foods Same Stores Sales Increase Nearly 9%

Whole Foods Same Stores Sales Increase Nearly 9%

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 11:55 am

by Terrie Ellerbee/associate editor

Whole Foods Market started off fiscal year 2012 with an 8.7 percent increase in sales in stores open one year or more. The Austin-based company expects same store sales to increase 9.4 percent in the second quarter.

Even in stores 15 years old and older, Whole Foods saw same store sales increase an enviable 4 percent in the first quarter, ending Jan. 15.

Total sales for the quarter were $3.4 billion, an increase of 13 percent. Profit rose 33 percent to $118.3 million vs. $88.7 million in the same period a year ago.

Walter Robb, co-CEO, said the company—as it reinforces its position as “America’s healthiest grocery store”—has attracted new customers while hanging on to the faithful. Robb said core customers spend on average “close to three times more than new customers.”

And new customers were drawn in during the holidays as Whole Foods Market held pricing “in a lot of places” so that shoppers “really felt comfortable—especially with some of the economic uncertainty in the fall … shopping with us,” Robb said.

He said items per transaction decreased slightly in the first quarter, but the average basket size increased 2 percent and the number of transactions grew more than 6 percent.

The Austin-based company saw “nice growth in our $25 to $50 baskets, and also continue to see strong increases in the $50-plus size baskets,” Robb said. Whole Foods’ shoppers continue to trade up, he said, shifting purchases to “organic products, higher price tiers and several discretionary categories.”

In the quarter, the company spent $111 million on new and existing stores. It opened its first Oklahoma store as well as stores in California, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York. Robb said this year’s class of stores was 17 percent smaller in size, averaging 38,000 s.f., than last year’s.

He said smaller, more suburban sites, like those in Folsom, Calif., where some 1,000 customers waited for the doors to open, demonstrate the power of the company’s “differentiated store experience to stand out even more” because there is less competition than in larger markets.

Since it last reported earnings, Whole Foods Market signed eight new leases for stores averaging 33,000 s.f. in Frisco, Colo., Miami, Fla.; Orland Park, Ill.; South Bend, Ind.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Jackson, Miss.; Port Chester, N.Y.; and Cleveland, Ohio.

Six of the sites are second generation stores, and most were not old supermarkets, said Jim Sud, EVP of growth and development, but Circuit City, Best Buy and Borders stores.

Over the last 12 months, Whole Foods signed 34 new leases. It plans to open 27 new stores in fiscal 2012 and 28 to 32 new stores in fiscal 2013.

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The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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