Whole Foods Market eyes Sears, Kmart sites for expansion

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Amazon’s Whole Foods Market unit is considering picking up some Sears and Kmart locations to expand, Yahoo Finance reported.

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Although bankrupt Sears has closed 123 stores and 205 Kmart stores over the last three years, the company still has more than 400 stores that could be acquired in a liquidation auction.

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While Whole Foods Market operates more than 470 stores around the country, its market share – compared to much-larger rivals like Kroger and Walmart – remains small.

“There are lots of vacant retail space that they can take advantage of, and that gives them access to reasonable retail locations, but I also think they want to secure good real estate deals by filling voids, and getting good rental levels from landlords,” Neil Saunders, managing director of retail at GlobalData, told Yahoo Finance.

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Earlier this week in Dallas, Jim Sud, executive vice president of growth and business development at Whole Foods, said the company is considering a strategy of acquiring existing retail locations.

“First and foremost, we’re looking for the best location we can find. So if that’s an existing center–second generation space — that meets all of our criteria… we’ll jump all over it,” Sud said.