Exclusive: Amazon eyes sealed Sears stores for Whole Foods expansion

While some normal retailers are carrying a tough time gripping their doors open, Amazon-owned Whole Foods has been gearing adult to quick enhance into some-more regions.

Grocery sequence Whole Foods is eyeing sites that were formerly home to Sears, Kmart and other struggling retailers, sources told Yahoo Finance.

Last month, for instance, Whole Foods managers visited a site in Utah that used to horde a Kmart store. The store close down in mid-2017 among its primogenitor company’s financial woes and has been empty ever since.

Whole Foods now has some-more than 470 stores around a country, still a distant cry from a competitors in a grocery space, including Walmart and Kroger. Eighteen months after Amazon’s acquisition, Whole Foods now has a income to open new locations in areas that were once out of reach, including states like Wyoming and Montana.

Sears, on a other hand, hasn’t been essential given 2010. Over a past 3 years, it has sealed 123 Sears stores and 205 Kmart stores. While Whole Foods concentrates locations around coastal cities and abundant neighborhoods, Sears’s inhabitant footprint spreads opposite a nation and covers a extended demographic, that can assistance Whole Foods scale adult quick during a comparatively reduce cost.

(David Foster/Yahoo Finance)(David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

“There are lots of empty sell space that they can take advantage of, and that gives them entrance to reasonable sell locations, though we also consider they wish to secure good genuine estate deals by stuffing voids, and removing good let levels from landlords,” Neil Saunders, handling executive of sell during GlobalData, told Yahoo Finance.

Landlords are also increasingly meddlesome in signing grocery and food retailers since they can assistance expostulate feet trade to a frame mall, according to Saunders.

Whole Foods didn’t respond to ask for comments, though Jim Sud, executive clamp boss of expansion and business growth during a grocery chain, echoed a plan of regulating existent stores during a sell genuine estate eventuality in Dallas on Tuesday.

“First and foremost, we’re looking for a best plcae we can find. So if that’s an existent center–second era space — that meets all of a criteria… we’ll burst all over it,” said Sud.

Krystal Hu covers record and trade for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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