Whole Foods To Close Nine Stores & Scale Back Expansion Plans

Whole Foods to close 9 stores amid sluggish sales

Whole Foods Market said Wednesday it will close nine stores in the second quarter as it abandons its goal to open 1,200-plus stores.

“We’re going to continue to grow, but I think we’re going to be a more disciplined growth company than we have been in the past,” John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, told analysts on the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

Mackey called the closing of the nine stores a “difficult but prudent decision” and said the company will now have more targeted site selection and “continued moderation in ending square footage growth.” He said these moves together will “result in a healthier bottom line, increased cash flow and higher returns.”

Still, the Texas-based company also said it welcomed 14 new stores in the first quarter, including two outlet relocations.

Mackey added the retailer remains “optimistic about the future growth potential for our 365 format but we want to see how this next round of stores perform before getting more aggressive.”

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