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Whole Foods Q1 income jumps 79%, same-store sales up 9.1%

BY DSN STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market’s first-quarter net income surged 79% to $88.7 million, on an increase in customer visits and a rise in average transactions. The natural and organic foods grocer raised 2011 profit outlook on its strong results, which beat expectations.

Sales for the quarter, ended Jan. 16, increased 14% to $3 billion. Same-store sales were up 9.1%, the highest level in four years. On a conference call with analysts, Walter Robb, Whole Foods’ co-CEO, said average weekly sales per store for all stores increased 9% to $621,000, translating to sales per sq. ft. of approximately $856. "We are proud that we are continuing to gain market share at a much faster rate than most public food retailers," Robb said.

Whole Foods opened three stores and expanded one store in the first quarter. It expects to open three new stores, including one relocation, in the second quarter. The company also recently signed leases in Ottawa, Canada; Danbury, Conn.; Jamaica Plain and Lynnfield, Mass.; Marlboro, N.J.; and San Antonio. These stores currently are scheduled to open in fiscal year 2012 and beyond.

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License to sell beer: Martin’s new Marketplace Café allows store to navigate state’s archaic liquor laws

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — A Martin’s Food Markets store in Indiana, Pa., has opened the doors to its new Marketplace Café, the chain announced.

Martin’s, part of Royal Ahold’s Giant-Carlisle branch, said the chain had received a restaurant liquor license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and would sell domestic and imported beer for customers dining in and carrying out.

The café also will stock such food items as hot and cold sandwiches, wraps and paninis; a salad bar; soups; baked goods and coffees.

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Kroger to open largest Atlanta-based supermarket

BY Michael Johnsen

SMYRNA, Ga. — Tri-Land Properties has broken ground for the redevelopment of The Crossings at Four Corners here in Smyrna, Ga. The 8-acre site will be home to Kroger’s largest supermarket in the Atlanta area: a 96,000-sq.-ft. grocer replete with fuel station, a wine shop and drive-through pharmacy.

The project is expected to be completed by November, Tri-Land Properties announced. “The Crossings at Four Corners Kroger location is replacing an outdated, 42,000-sq.-ft., 40-year-old store located across the street,” Tri-Land stated in a release.

In addition to the new Kroger, the redevelopment will include the renovation of 60,000 sq. ft. of retail space and the development of eight outparcels available for development, as well as a 25,000-sq.-ft. pad available for a new anchor tenant, located adjacent to Kroger.

The completed center will reach 230,000 sq. ft.

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