Market Overview

Some Highlights from Whole Foods' Q1 Earnings Conference Call

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Comments from Walter Robb Co-CEO:

  • Whole Foods opened 10 new stores this year which increased square footage by 8%.
  • The decrease in comps reflects the softer shopping patterns in december
  • The goals of Whole Foods is to improve relative price position and to increase value offerings and promotional activity
  • Occupancy leverage was slightly offset by cost of goods sold
  • Based on Whole Foods prior experience their value strategy will benefit shareholders in the long-run.
  • Over the last 8 quarters, average weekly sales amounted to $555,000/per store.
  • Over the long term Whole Foods believes they can achieve their goals through their value strategy while still maintaining their historic profit margin
  • The easter holiday will have negative impact on Q2 but positive impact on Q3
  • 7 million customers visit Whole Foods stores each week
  • Began with 6 stores averaging a million dollars in sales per week
  • Now Whole Foods has 50 stores averaging over a million dollars in sales per week
  • There are 107 stores in the development pipeline
  • By 2017 Whole Foods expects to pass the 500 store mark
  • Traffic numbers stayed level from quarter to quarter
  • Whole Foods will continue to open new stores, which are greatly increasing productivity.
  • Whole Foods plans to be aggressive in price strategy, and lowering expenses.
  • Whole Foods admits that there is more competition in their market but there is still a lot of opportunity in the the market, and enough room for all of the companies. Whole Foods claims they are the leaders in the market so that should be an advantage.

Comments from John Mackey Co-CEO:

  • Whole Foods is still optimistic because they are opening so many stores and accelerating their square footage growth
  • In the short term price investment hurts comps, but after two or three quarters the positive impacts of lowering prices starts to affect the comps
  • There are many markets that remain untapped for Whole Foods
  • It is encouraging to see that Whole Foods is a big deal when it opens in a new market

Posted-In: Earnings News


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