Whole Foods opens new store in the Rockies

Published on
June 17, 2009

Earlier this week Whole Foods Market of Austin, Texas, opened its first new Rocky Mountain-area store in three years.

The 58,000 square feet, store in Centennial, Colo., is expected to have a large selection of sustainable seafood items. The store’s seafood department receives fresh fish from its own boats six days a week, according to the store’s Web site.

After suffering from lagging sales during the recession, new Whole Foods stores may be a sign of a turnaround for the natural and organic retailer.

“Whole Foods Market believes healthy living becomes more important during recessionary times,” said Rob Plutt, store team leader for the Centennial store. The store features the largest prepared food section of all the chain’s stores in Colorado, and will feature more than 1,200 local products.

Whole Foods’ comparable store sales fell 4.8 percent in its second fiscal quarter, which ended April 12. Net income also dropped 11.8 percent in the quarter.

Whole Foods has halted some of its losses over the past year by revamping its value image.

“We started pushing hard on our value programs last May. While it hasn’t been an overnight shift, we believe we are starting to change the dialogue about our prices and hopefully the perception as well,” said John Mackey, chairman and CEO of Whole Foods, in a conference call on the retailer’s second quarter results.

To that end, Whole Foods is aggressively promoting its private label “365 Everyday Value” line, which includes some seafood products, and consistently adds new natural, organic and sustainable products to the line. The Centennial store, for example, will sell more than 1,200 private-label products.

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