business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Oakland Tribune reports that in the San Francisco Bay Area, "Sprouts Farmers Market is attempting to beef up its efforts though acquisitions of rival grocers Henry's Farmers Market and Sunflower Farmer's Market.

"Sprouts, with sales in the $2 billion range, has sites in Dublin, San Jose, Sunnyvale and Fremont, and will open additional stores in San Jose and Walnut Creek."

Shon Boney, Sprouts co-founder and CEO, tells the paper that "when the economy slowed down, that created a bunch of real estate vacancies. We were finally able to make an entry into the market. We created a base of stores that we could grow over time. The lifestyles in California really work well for us."

Boney defines the company's format this way: "We are somewhere in the middle between Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and the conventional supermarkets. Usually our customers are more of an everyday food customer, not the health foods supermarket customer. We do everything at a discounted price. Our produce is more of what you would find at a farmer's market, but we aggressively price our produce. Our vitamins are like you would find at Whole Foods."
KC's View:
Sprouts is going to have to be aggressive and persistent if it is going to succeed there, since, as the Tribune notes, "Safeway, Walmart, Foods Co., Whole Foods and Grocery Outlet are among those seeking to muscle up in the region."