Whole Foods Market reported sales for the 12-week fourth quarter and 52-week fiscal year ended September 29, 2013 with record fourth quarter operating results.
For the quarter, total sales were $3.0 billion, an increase of 2% from the 13-week period last year and an increase of 11% on a comparative 12-week basis. Identical store sales, excluding five relocations and two expansions, increased 5.5%.
John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market said: “We are dedicated to providing our communities with fresh, healthy, natural and organic food, and with 94 leases in our development pipeline, we look forward to delivering accelerating new store growth for several years to come.”
Mr Mackey said WFM delivered record fourth quarter results including: average weekly sales per store of $694,000 and a gross margin of 35.6 percent, while a record 12 new stores were opened in Q4.
For the 52 weeks ended September 29, 2013, total sales reached a record $12.9 billion, an increase of 10% from the 53-week period last year and an increase of 13% on a comparative 52-week basis. Identical store sales, excluding six relocations and four expansions, increased 6.6%.
The company opened a record 32 store openings in the fiscal year. In the first quarter, has opened five stores so far and expects to open five additional stores. WFM currently has 367 stores open and recently signed 14 new leases averaging 38,000 square feet in size.
“While the current uncertainty in the economy might be impacting our ability to attract new crossover customers at the same rate, our core customers appear to be fairly resilient. Year over year, we have continued to see shifts toward organic products and discretionary categories as well as meaningful increases in 50 dollar-plus sized baskets,” Mr. Mackey said.
“We are the first and only U.S. public food retailer to commit to labeling GMOs, and we recently announced a new rating system for fresh produce and floral that will measure performance on important sustainable farming topics, including pest management, farmworker welfare, and pollinator protection.”