Whole Foods Market Inc.'s (Austin, Texas) sales grew 7 percent to $2.6 billion for the 16-week first quarter ended January 17, 2010. Comparable store sales were also strong, rising 3.5 percent. Identical store sales, excluding five relocations and two major expansions, increased 2.5 percent.
"Our first quarter results exceeded our own expectations on both the top and bottom line,” says John Mackey, ceo and co-founder of Whole Foods Market. “Given the strong sales momentum we are seeing, there are many reasons to be bullish about our future results."
Mackey says the company is still cautious about the economy and consumers, but has raised its outlook for the fiscal year. "Early last year, we made the shift from being fairly reactionary on pricing to being much more strategic, he says. “We have seen this strategy successfully play out over the last several quarters, as we have produced strong year-over-year improvement in gross margin and comparable store sales growth.”
The company plans to open 10 stores in fiscal year 2010, with 17 stores in development for 2011. It operates 289 stores in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.