At a time when traditional brick and mortar retailers are finding it extremely difficult to keep their doors open, Amazon-owned Whole Foods has been gearing up to enhance its omni-channel footprint.
Now that Sears has closed stores in 123 locations and Kmart in 205 locations over the last three years, Whole Foods is gearing up to occupy these vacant spots and widen its national presence.
This move would mark a major phase of expansion for Whole Foods, which currently has a little more than 470 stores spread across the country, centered mainly around coastal cities and affluent neighborhoods. 470 may sound like a lot, but is a far cry from competitors like Walmart (WMT) and Kroger (KR) in the grocery space.
With the financial backing of Amazon, Whole Foods has the opportunity to make its presence felt in areas that were once out of reach and to scale up the business at a relatively low cost. In fact, echoing this strategy of the company, a Whole Foods personnel recently visited a site in Utah that used to be a Kmart store but is now vacant.
Although there isn’t any official confirmation from the company yet, Jim Sud, the executive vice president of growth and business development at the grocery chain, did mention the strategy of using existing stores at a retail real estate event in Dallas on Tuesday.