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Whole Foods Sales Soar in Q4

Amazon deal may have provided fuel

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market—and its subsequent move to lower prices concurrent with its takeover—appears to have put a jolt into the company’s sales.

A financial report filed by Whole Foods with the Securities and Exchange Commission—the company’s final such report now that it’s a part of the larger Amazon—indicates sales jumped by 4.4% in its fiscal fourth quarter. The period, which ended Sept. 24, included nearly a month of Whole Foods’ results following its acquisition.

The gain represented Whole Foods’ largest quarterly sales gain since the third quarter of 2015 and a sizeable sequential gain from the 0.6% sales gain in the third quarter.

Though it cannot be precisely determined how much of the sales were influenced by Amazon, Whole Foods’ new Seattle-based parent’s announcement to lower everyday prices on a variety of items at the deal closing captured widespread attention and by some measuresincreased traffic to Whole Foods stores by 17%.

For the fiscal year, Whole Foods said sales of $16 billion increased by 2%—ahead of the company’s most recent revision to its annual sales guidance of 1% to 1.5% growth for the year, issued in February. Comparable-store sales for the year of -1.5% also outperformed Whole Foods’ February estimates that comps would fall by as much as 2.5% for the year.

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