From the Wall Street Journal's Corporate Intelligence blog:
Whole Foods Market Inc. and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. are duking it out, along with several smaller organic and natural foods stores, to capture the growing market of consumers who want to feel like they’re eating healthy, but are conscious of the cost too.
Whole Foods is going after Sprouts—known for its low prices on produce—by offering conventional produce alongside the organic stuff, doing “flash” sales, and adding more store-brand items to make it improve value. Meanwhile, Sprouts is honing in on Whole Foods’ geographic territory, with plans to expand to new markets in the Southeast.
Sprouts, based in Phoenix, has about 165 stores now, and says it sees potential for 1,100 locations in the U.S. some day. The outlook seems like a move to one-up Whole Foods, which has long said its target is 1,000 stores in the U.S.
But Whole Foods, which has about 355 stores now, isn’t intimidated by the emerging competition. Co-Chief Executive Walter Robb told rivals to “bring it on” in a conference call the day before Sprouts debuted on the stock market....MORE