The Growth Strategy Of Whole Foods

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I. Growth Strategy The growth strategy of Whole Foods Market since going public in 1991, had been to expand via an aggregate of opening new stores and acquiring small, owner-managed chains which consisted of capable personnel and locations in sought-after markets. This strategy is highly effective and is apparent in the history of the company. During 1992-2001, Whole Foods had it’s most significant acquisition, which consisted of seven small chains with a total of 45 stores ranging in size from 5,000 to 20,0000 square feet. Using this strategy, the company entered the Atlanta market in 2001 by acquiring Harry’s Market, which operated three 55,000 square-foot supermarkets. Whole Foods’ management then determined to drive growth by opening 10 to 15 decidedly bigger stores in metropolitan areas each year, commencing in 2002. Employing this identical strategy, the company chose to enter the Great Britain market in 2004 by purchasing Fresh and Wild, an operator of seven small stores in the London area. However, in 2007, Whole Foods launched what proved to be a largely successful, but contentious, 2 ½ year battle to purchase struggling Wild Oat Markets - Whole Foods’ biggest competitor in the natural and organic foods industry. Wild Oats operated 109 older and smaller stores (averaging 24,000 square feet in size) in 23 states collectively through their Wild Oats Market, Henry’s Farmer’s Market, and Sun Harvest brands accumulating total annual sales of about $1.2 billion.

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