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Analysts bearish on natural retailers

Deflation, conventional competition absorbing market growth

Citing a combination of competition from conventional stores, choppy consumer sentiment and prolonged deflation in fresh foods, analysts have muted expectations shopping basket produce for the financial results of publicly traded natural food retailers, which will soon be announced.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage will release its first-quarter financial results following the market close on Thursday. Whole Foods Markets reports its first quarter results on Feb. 8, and Sprouts Farm

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