USA: 60 second round up

Date : 08 October 2015

We bring you the latest developments from three innovative US retailers.

Sprouts Farmers Market tapping into growth segment

Having already opened 27 new stores in 2015, Sprouts Farmers Market plans to continue expanding, with 12 new stores forecast to open in Q1 2016. The retailer, which operates in 13 states, is one of the fastest growing retailers in the US. The natural and whole foods segment continues to attract investment, with both Sprouts and Whole Foods Market having identified the potential to operate at least 1,200 stores in the US over the longer term. However, the segment is becoming increasingly competitive, with mainstream retailers such as Kroger and Albertsons Safeway also investing in expanding their natural food ranges. This could potentially restrict growth opportunities for the specialist retailers.

Meijer simplifies healthy private label range and announces new president

Meijer is rebranding its healthy private label range as 'True Goodness,' merging its current 'Meijer Organics' and 'Meijer Naturals' brands. The aim is to simplify the shopping experience for customers, and provide "real food with ingredients you can trust." The 'True Goodness' range will offer 325 products, including coconut oil, juice boxes and granola chips and two-thirds of the range will be USDA certified organic.

Meijer has also appointed a new president, following the departure of JK Symancyk, who held the position for three years. Rick Keyes, the newly appointed president, has been with the company for 26 years, starting as a pharmacist in store. His latest role was executive vice president of supply chain and manufacturing operations, where he had a major impact, including developing the retailer's vertically integrated dairy operations. The internal appointment will ensure consistency of strategy as it also executes on its growth plans.

Smart & Final expands through acquisition

Smart & Final, a warehouse style grocer and cash and carry chain, has tabled bids for 28 Haggen stores, located in California and Nevada, following the retailer filing for bankruptcy. Smart & Final currently operates around 270 stores, and is looking to add to its store estate. It plans to convert the Haggen stores to the Smart & Final Extra! format, which is larger than its core format. While California and Nevada have proved to be challenging markets for Haggen, Smart & Final's unique proposition enables it to create points of difference versus both traditional supermarkets and club, or warehouse formats.

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