Whole Foods shares are getting destroyed this morning.
The stock is off 16% after earnings yesterday showed weak same-store sales growth.
What’s holding back the company?
On the company’s conference call, CEO John Mackey explained. Organic food is now everywhere. Whole Foods just isn’t that special anymore.
Here’s the key part from the conference call, via Seeking Alpha:
Since Q3 last year, our average price per item growth has moderated to 160 basis points from 3.3% to a three-year low of 1.7% this quarter. We attribute this primarily to our proactive value strategy and believe this is the biggest contributor to the change in our comp trends over the last several quarter
A dynamically changing competitive market is certainly a factor as well. The growing demand for fresh healthy foods, the offering of natural and organic products is expanding everywhere and new stores, existing stores and online.
Looking at the big picture, that’s a positive for us, as it affirms our mission for the last 36 years and speaks to the increasing growth opportunity. However, we believe it is currently impacting our transaction count growth. In addition, severe weather in several of our larger regions impacted shopping patterns again this quarter, customers making fewer trips and buying more items each trip.
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