Whole Foods Sales Fall Again

By Heather HaddonFeaturesDow 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.

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.

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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.

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)