Whole Foods Market is to buy four stores from local US retailer New Frontiers Natural Marketplace.

The natural and organic grocer has moved for three outlets in Arizona - one each in Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona - and a store in San Luis Obispo in California.

Andrew Wolf, a US retail analyst at BB&T Capital Markets, said: "We view this deal positively since it allows WFM to efficiently enter four smaller markets in which it does not currently operate and further illustrates that the chain is well positioned to exploit food retailing consolidation opportunities."

The outlets will be renamed Whole Foods. The deal is expected to finalised "in the next few weeks", Whole Foods said.

"We are excited to expand our presence to new markets in Arizona and Central California, bringing our fresh, delicious and competitively priced products with the highest quality standards in the business to these vibrant communities," Patrick Bradley, a regional president of Whole Foods, said.

Wolf said the new stores were 22,000 sq feet on average, compared to the average Whole Foods, which is 38,200 sq feet in size.

The four stores have a mix of competitors, including mainstream retailers like Kroger and Safeway Inc, as well as natural and organic outlets like Sprouts Farmers Market and Trader Joe's, Wolf added.