AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market here has increased its store-count goal to 1,200 — up from the 1,000 units it has been projecting for several years — according to a Wall Street analyst.
Kelly Bania, of BMO Capital Markets, New York, said in a published report Whole Foods executives told her they now see the company's growth potential in the U.S. as 1,200 locations.
"This is a key positive for Whole Foods," Bania wrote, "and suggests the company remains very optimistic about its ability to continue expanding, supported in part by recent success in new markets such as Detroit, where sales are trending twice that of projections.
"This development is particularly positive at a time when many investors remain concerned about capacity growth in the sector — both from traditional retailers as well as natural and organic retailers. That growth in capacity will be met with growth in demand as improved availability of natural and organic [products] supports growth in crossover consumers, or consumers who purchase both organics and conventional products and [who], over time, tend to seek out the better selection and product innovation Whole Foods continues to provide."
Read more: Analysts Upbeat on Whole Foods Prospects
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