In spite of retailers' recent overwhelming preference for smaller stores, upscale supermarket operator Whole Foods found that sometimes larger stores perform quite well, according to Supermarket News. SN reports that Whole Foods Chairman John Mackey told analysts that the 40,000-sq.-ft. to 45,000-sq.-ft. stores the company opened between 2007 and 2009 have been posting strong sales. As a result, Whole Foods executives plan to build more of the larger format stores, a departure from their previous focus on stores in the 30,000-sq.-ft. to 35,000-sq.-ft. range and acquisitions of smaller, 16,000-sq.-ft. units.
Mackey said about the 40,000-sq.-ft. to 45,000-sq.-ft. stores:
"They have higher long-term potential than smaller stores because they offer more parking, less spoilage and greater efficiencies. Many of those stores [of 40,000 square feet to 45,000 square feet] opened when the economy dipped, but sales are up and they are performing well enough that we’re considering opening some bigger flagship stores in certain markets.”