Cloning Whole Foods is Harder Than you Think

Specialty grocery stores started booming a year ago. One of these specialty groceries include Sprouts Farmers Market who’s IPO generated $333 million. Enthusiasm surrounded by these specialty groceries turned to a very grim reality as competition increase and over-expansion ultimately led to loss in sales. Fresh Market, another popular grocery store, reported a 90% loss in March in the fourth quarter net income. Fairway is trying to bypass the decline by reorganizing their business to cut high store costs. One of the major problems natural grocery stores are experiencing is competing from heavyweight grocers and their store brand natural and organic food products. 

Although the outlook may look disappointing now, analysts believe specialty grocers still have long-term hope. New geographies are becoming more competitive and sales have increased from $6 billion in 1998 to $48 billion in 2012 for natural and organic grocery stores. Whole Foods has tripled their annual sales over the past decade to $13 billion with it’s market value competing with Kroger’s. The next step is to see how much store growth will continue for specialty grocery stores, especially the ones with currently experiencing growing pains.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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