Whole Foods Announces Moves to Streamline Locations

Thu. February 9th, 2017 - by Melissa De Leon Chavez

AUSTIN, TX - Whole Foods continues to restructure as its plans for the year further unfold. The retailer announced yesterday that while it plans to increase the number of its lower-priced 365 banner stores, it will also be closing nine of its Whole Foods stores–a first for the banner since 2008.

John Mackey, a Co-Founder and current CEO, said that Whole Foods considered rebranding some of the closing locations into 365s but that the move wasn’t a practical one, according to the Chicago Tribune.

John Mackey, Co-Founder, Whole Foods Market

"We cleaned up the stores we needed to clean up for the time being, and we're looking forward to moving forward," Mackey said. The executive stated in a conference call that shuttering the nine stores will help boost profits and comparable sales, and that while the retailer has also cut back on its ambitious growth plan of reaching 1,200 locations it does still have more than 80 stores in the pipeline.

On the same day the company announced it will be closing these stores, Whole Foods announced it has signed leases for new 365 stores in both Brooklyn, New York, and Oakland, California.

For those on Wall Street that desire to see Whole Foods streamline rather than pursue growth, the news was received warmly, according to the report; speculations have circled that a top investor is looking to take on the chain and calling for a number of changes in leadership and direction.

The stock reportedly gained 2 percent to $29.91 at 10:02 a.m. in New York on Thursday following the news.

The Whole Foods store in Boulder and in Colorado Springs, two stores in California, one each in Chicago, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, and Georgia will all close by April 9.

As this and other retailer continue to make strategic changes, AndNowUKnow will keep you up on the latest.

Whole Foods