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Amazon eyes closed Sears stores for Whole Foods expansion

10 January 2019

From Yahoo Finance:

While some traditional retailers are having a hard time keeping their doors open, Amazon-owned Whole Foods has been gearing up to rapidly expand into more regions.

Grocery chain Whole Foods is eyeing sites that were previously home to Sears, Kmart and other struggling retailers, sources told Yahoo Finance.

Last month, for instance, Whole Foods managers visited a site in Utah that used to host a Kmart store. The store shut down in mid-2017 among its parent company’s financial woes and has been vacant ever since.

Whole Foods now has more than 470 stores around the country, still a far cry from its competitors in the grocery space, including Walmart and Kroger. Eighteen months after Amazon’s acquisition, Whole Foods now has the money to open new locations in areas that were once out of reach, including states like Wyoming and Montana.

. . . .

Landlords are also increasingly interested in signing grocery and food retailers because they can help drive foot traffic to a strip mall, according to Saunders.

Whole Foods didn’t respond to request for comments, but Jim Sud, executive vice president of growth and business development at the grocery chain, echoed the strategy of using existing stores at a retail real estate event in Dallas on Tuesday.

“First and foremost, we’re looking for the best location we can find. So if that’s an existing center–second generation space — that meets all of our criteria… we’ll jump all over it,” said Sud.

Link to the rest at Yahoo Finance

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