PARSIPPANY — Whole Foods is shrinking its store count for the first time since the recession, as reported in Business Insider.
According to the report, the grocery chain plans to close nine stores in the current quarter, which ends in April, while opening only six new stores. None of the stores closing are in New Jersey.
The closings represent a tiny fraction of Whole Foods’ 440 stores in the United States, but they signal a new era of potentially stagnant growth for the troubled chain amid growing competition in the organic- and natural-food market.
Whole Foods is proposing a new store at future Waterview Marketplace, Route 46 and Waterview Boulevard. The proposed store will occupy 49,000 square feet. The total shopping center will consist of 157,410 square feet and provide 679 parking spots. (Click here to see diagram of proposed shopping center). Meanwhile there is a vacant 65,106 square foot former PathMark Store less than two miles east of the proposed location.
Parsippany Focus contacted their corporate office in Austin, Texas, but did not receive a return call.
Whole Foods Market will be opening its newest location in Newark situated in the recently renovated and historic Hahne & Company building at 633 Broad Street on Wednesday, March 1 at 9:00 a.m. Whole Foods Market Newark will boast 29,000 square feet of space providing the Newark community access to the highest quality produce, meat, seafood, baked goods, body care, grocery offerings and healthy eating resources in the area. The store marks Whole Foods Market’s third location in Essex County and 17th overall in New Jersey. Other New Jersey Whole Foods stores include Morristown, Madison, West Orange, Union and Montclair.
The company’s same-store sales have declined in each of the past six quarters.
The chain saw a 2.4% decline in that metric during its most recent quarter, the company stated.
Whole Foods is now scrapping its plans to eventually expand to expand to 1,200 stores across the United States.
Company executives said they are going to wait and see how recently opened stores perform before making any long-term commitments on future growth.