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Whole Foods Eyes E-commerce: Analyst

AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market here could be eying an e-commerce launch, according to an analyst report on Friday.

Kate Wendt, a San Francisco-based analyst with Wells Fargo Securities, said in the report that the natural and organic specialist had filed several trademarks in January “that point to a potential move toward mobile, e-commerce, store pickup and delivery.”

She said she believes Whole Foods could launch the service in nonfood areas such as vitamins/supplements and natural HBC, before expanding into grocery product.

Read more: CPG Commerce Grows Online

“Would Whole Foods be successful in the e-commerce or grocery delivery landscape? We think the answer is yes,” Wendt said in the report, citing the following reasons:

• A strong brand that already generates more annual website visitors (11.1 million in 2012) than Peapod and Fresh Direct combined.

• Unique product offering, including private label.

• Strong distribution infrastructure.

• Improvements in its price/value position.

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