In a call with analysts after the firm posted a 27% rise in net sales to $930m in the fourth quarter and same store sales growth of 7.4%, CEO Amin Maredia said: “Private label will continue to be a key area of focus in 2016.
"Our private label brands grew by more than 30% in 2015 and represent now over 9% of our sales today and we believe this category still has plenty of room to expand for years to come.”
The priorities for Sprouts - which has a long-range target of 1,200 stores - are expanding the private label program, enhancing the deli offer, and deepening connections with customers via “digital engagement”, he added.
An improved deli offering to roll out to 70% of stores
“We tested an improved deli offering in a few stores in 2015, featuring an extensive prepared salad offering, prepared food service case, fresh juices, and specialty coffee. We plan to add the new deli offering in approximately 70% of our new stores, as well as over 30 existing stores in 2016.
“We will continue to evolve other parts of our deli as well, including enhancements to our home meal replacement offering, with even better ingredients, more selections and improved packaging. We believe these deli enhancements will increase our daytime traffic and bring more relevance to our customer shopping experience without adding a tremendous amount of capital to our new store build-out.”
224 stores nationwide
Sprouts Farmers Market, which started in Arizona in 2002 and now operates 224 stores (the bulk are in Colorado, Texas, Arizona and California), has a mantra of 'helping customers live a healthy lifestyle at an affordable prices’.
For the full year 2015, sales grew 21% to $3.6bn.