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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Sprouts Farmers Market growth remains robust

Sprouts Farmers Market growth remains robust
The retailer continues growing even as Whole Foods Market and other publicly traded companies in the nutrition space report softening sales.

Sprouts Farmers Market on Thursday reported impressive third-quarter earnings as CEO Amin Maredia reaffirmed the company’s vision and pointed to a few strategic business tweaks.

The “farmers market” style chain reached 18 percent year-over-year third-quarter growth with $903.1 million in net sales. Comparable store growth was 5.8 percent, and two-year comparables reached 14.9 percent.

Maredia noted traffic and ticket expansion drove increases by about 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Departments across the store experienced growth.

“Sprouts’ commitment to health and value continues to resonate with customers seeking fresh, natural and organic products at great prices, driving 34 consecutive quarters of positive comparable store sales growth,” Maredia said in a prepared statement. “Looking ahead, we continue to focus on product innovation, private label growth, great operational execution and 14 percent unit growth coast-to-coast.”

Moving forward, Sprouts intends to make employee and tech investments on both customer-facing and back-end fronts.

Sprouts has one Amazon Prime delivery test running in Los Angeles and may add a couple more, but Maredia noted that the suburban markets Sprouts serves are not likely to demand delivery in the near-term.

Details about its digital rollout will emerge early next year, with a focus on building tech tools for sales and marketing and improving employee scheduling.

Employee focus includes training and wage increases in critical areas.

With these investments, the company released these mid-term financial targets:

  • Net sales growth of 15 percent-plus.
  • Unit growth of 14 percent.
  • Comparable store growth in the mid-single digits.
  • Adjusted EBITDA growth ranging from 12 percent to 16 percent.
  • Adjusted diluted earnings per share ranging from 14 percent to 18 percent.
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