Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Nasdaq: WFMI) yesterday announced sales for the fiscal quarter and year ended September 24, 2000. Core retail sales during this 12- week period were $438 million, an increase of 22% over sales of $358 million for the same period of the prior fiscal year. This brings core retail sales for the 52-week fiscal year to $1.84 billion, an increase of 23% over sales of $1.49 billion in the prior year.
Comparable store sales (stores open for more than 52 weeks) increased 8.6% for the quarter and for the year. Sales in identical stores (excludes 3 relocated and 1 remodeled store) increased 6.8% for the quarter and 7% for the year. The four relocated and remodeled stores saw an average 83% increase in square footage. As the Company continues to relocate smaller stores to larger boxes, it expects to continue to see a similar variance between comparable and identical sales increases.
The Company’s previously stated guidance for sales growth of 20-25% for fiscal year 2001 remains unchanged. The Company expects to open or acquire 15-20 stores for an estimated increase in square footage of approximately 20%. Comparable store sales for fiscal year 2001 are expected to be in the 7-9% range for the year.
Whole Foods Market, a Fortune 1000 company, opened its first store in Austin, Texas, in 1980. Since then, Whole Foods has grown to operate the country’s largest chain of natural foods supermarkets with 117 stores in 22 states plus the District of Columbia. We invite you to learn more about Whole Foods Market at www.wholefoodsmarket.com.
The following constitutes a “Safe Harbor” statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to general business conditions, the timely development and opening of new stores, the impact of competition, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s SEC reports, including the report on Form 10K for the fiscal year ended September 26, 1999. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.