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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage plans 18 new stores in 2015

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage plans 18 new stores in 2015
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage approaches its 60th anniversary year with major growth plans and a positive competitive outlook.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NGVC) boasted positive fourth-quarter, year-end and outlook numbers as the Lakewood, Colorado-based chain prepares for its 60th anniversary next year.

During the Nov. 20 earnings report, Chairman and Co-president Kemper Isely reported fiscal 2014 growth across departments, stores and the chain:

  • Net sales increased approximately 21 percent to $521 million.
  • Daily average comparable store sales increased 5.6 percent on top of an 11.1 percent  increase last year. Daily transaction count growth of 2.3 percent, and a 3.2 percent increase in average transaction size drove sales figures, Isely said.
  • And Natural Grocers saw positive sales trends across all departments, he said.

Fourth-quarter daily average comp store sales increased to 3.7 percent compared with the 3.1 percent third-quarter increase. “We’re experiencing further improvement this current quarter,” Isely said.

“We believe we have passed the few competitive pressures we felt in fiscal 2014,” the chairman said. He later said stores without competitive pressure have been reaching double-digit comps.

The longtime grocer plans to continue its growth spurt by opening 18 stores in fiscal 2015—five of which already have signed leases in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado and Kansas—relocating three and remodeling two. The chain opened 15 new locations in fiscal 2014.

With 87 stores across 14 states, the grocer plans to celebrate the opening of its 100th store as it marks its 60th anniversary. The 2015 outlook predicts average comparable store sales growth of 5 percent to 8 percent with net income margins of 2.1 percent to 2.3 percent. 

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