Whole Foods Sales Fall Again

By Heather Haddon Features Dow Jones Newswires

Whole Foods Market Inc. said Wednesday that comparable sales fell again in the latest quarter, extending a streak going back two years as the natural grocer faced up to tougher competition.

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Same-store sales fell by 1.9% during its fiscal third quarter ended July 2, compared with a year ago. Whole Foods plans to sell itself to Amazon.com, and has promised to reverse the sales losses by the end of its current fiscal year in September.

John Mackey, the company's chief executive and co-founder, said that same-store sales turned positive in the last three weeks of July.

"Our comparable store sales improved," Mr. Mackey said in a statement.

The company's stock was flat in intra-day trading at $41.82, a slight dip from the $42 a share that Amazon offered to acquire the company for last month, or total of $13.7 billion, including debt. The merger would be the third-largest retail tie-up in the U.S. since 1995, according to Dealogic.

Whole Foods skipped an investor call on Wednesday because of the pending deal.

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Net profit fell to $106 million in the quarter from $120 million a year earlier. Per share earnings dipped to 33 cents from 37 cents.

Write to Heather Haddon at heather.haddon@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 14:17 ET (18:17 GMT)