Phoenix, AZ—Sprouts Farmers Market is branching out again. The successful natural products grocer will open its 50th location on June 2—that’s 50 stores in the chain’s brief eight-year history. Nineteen of these new locations were opened in the last 13 months, a time during which many other stores were closing.


Doug Sanders, president and COO of Sprouts

According to Doug Sanders, the firm’s president and COO, we can expect to see the chain continue on its impressive growth path in the coming years. Sanders told WholeFoods that Sprouts will add four more locations before the end of 2010. “Our plans are to continue to open 10–12 stores per year. That puts us at about 50 more stores, give or take, in the 2014–2015 range,” he stated. “As long as we can find good-quality real estate, we can continue to open new stores at that pace.”

Sprouts currently has stores in only four states: Arizona, Texas, California and Colorado. It seems plans are in the works to expand outside this radius. “We have a few additional states in review right now,” he notes. “We do about two years of research before going into a new market and new areas.”

In addition to growing locations, sales are on the rise, too. According to a recent Phoenix Business Journal article, the chain has raked in between $620 million and $670 million in the first half of this year, compared with $445 million overall sales last year. About half of its business comes from perishables, with 25–30% from produce. Sanders also confirmed double-digit growth “from a comp perspective” in supplement sales. “Even in a rough economic climate, we were still makiSproutsng gains in vitamins and supplements,” he states.

Sanders attributes Sprouts’ success to its “relentless focus on value, freshness and natural foods…that’s been our focus for the last eight years. Our mission resonates wel withl the consumer today. They want to eat healthier, but they don’t want to pay a fortune for it. We fill both voids.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2010 (published ahead of print on May 28, 2010)