Facing the worst downward spiral in sales in more than a decade, Whole Foods Market is downsizing its chain, the Chicago Tribune reported. The American supermarket that prides itself on locally grown foods and cleaning eating habits is expected to close nine of its stores--a move that hasn't happened since the Great Recession in 2008.
The company reported six straight quarters of declining same-store sales.
This move reverses the chain's goal of reaching more than 1,200 stores in the US. On a call with investors, Chief Executive John Mackey attributed the decline in sales to an increased competition.
"The more conventional, mainstream supermarkets have upped their game the world is very different today than it was five years ago," he said.
The stores slated for closure included two each in Colorado and California as well as in Chicago, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Georgia, the Wall Street Journal reported. Mackey explained that these stores tended to be smaller and older locations, near more modern and larger Whole Foods.
Though the company is downsizing, it's still expanding in other areas, particularly with its "365" store that targets more young, budget-conscious consumers. These locations have opened on the West Coast, but stores are expected to open in Brooklyn, NY, and Oakland, CA.
WATCH | For more news you need, check out Circa 60.