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Analyst: Fewer, but deeper, promos for Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market in recent months has been promoting fewer products in weekly circulars, but offering deeper discounts on the items it advertises, according to an analyst study.

In a note to clients Friday, Sterne Agee analyst Chuck Grom said a 21-month study of Whole Foods circulars in the metro New York area showed the number of items advertised in weekly circulars has been decreasing while the average discount has been increasing for several months. 

Whole Foods’ most recent circular distributed included deals on 26 items and an average discount of 33.2%. In the same week a year ago, the Whole Foods ad included 31 items at an average discount of 29.4%.

Over 21 months, the study showed Whole Foods advertised 29 items in weekly circulars with a 30.9% average discount.

While Whole Foods has not commented publicly on its circular policy, officials have acnowledged the Austin, Texas-based retailer has been at work on numerous strategies to improve pricing and price perception.

“Overall, while the company’s weekly sales flier is just a portion of its overall pricing/promotion strategy, it provides a glimpse into some of the tinkering that’s going down in Austin on this front,” Grom wrote.

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