- A strategy by Whole Foods Market (WFM +0.2%) to enter smaller markets appears to be paying off in the early stages, notes Barclays.
- The company's willingness to bring in products from local vendors and success with its prepared foods sections is helping to offset some of the stigma over premium pricing.
- What to watch: Whole Food's march toward a store count of a thousand will increasingly include more locations in small- and medium-sized cities. Signs that the consumer shift toward organic and food consumption includes these markets could give the grocery store chain an edge as it faces intense pricing pressure from Target and Wal-Mart. The pickle for WFM is how to keep sales percolating (FQ4 SSS growth 5.9% vs. 7.1% in FQ3) without misfiring on its branding in the new markets.
Whole Foods Market walks a tightrope in smaller markets
Dec 16 2013, 15:56 ET