After years of same-store-sales growth above 6%,
Whole Foods reported that the metric fell to 5.9%
during the fourth quarter of 2013, and 4.5% at the
beginning of this year.
Additionally, earnings came in below analyst
expectations for both quarters.
Management made clear that competition was being
felt in slower sales, and that the company would be
lowering prices to compete on costs with others
entering the organic field.
Earlier this year, co-CEOs Walter Robb and John
Mackey announced that they believed the U.S. could
support 1,200 Whole Foods locations, up 20% from
previous estimates. Currently, there are 374 locations.
During the first quarter earnings release, management
laid out the blueprint for further expansion.
In 2014, open 37 locations, bringing count to 398.
In 2015, open 42 locations, bringing count to 436.
In 2016, open 46 locations, bringing count to 478.
In 2017, open 50 locations, bringing count to 524.
In 2018, open 55 locations, bringing count to 575.
Whole Foods has its
work cut out to meet
these lofty goals.
When the company
reports earnings, check
to make sure it still
believes there will be 398
locations by the end of
In order to meet
Foods needs to show
growth in this metric of
Anything above 5.5%
would be a huge positive.
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