Sprouts plans to open 40 stores

Dive Brief:

  • Sprouts Farmers Market plans to open 40 new locations next year, up from the 30 stores it is on track to add in 2023, executives announced Tuesday during Goldman Sachs’ 30th annual Global Retailing Conference.
  • Chip Molloy, the grocer’s chief financial officer, said the specialty retailer is looking to have a “real” loyalty program that will provide real-time data and insights on shoppers up and running by the end of 2024.
  • Sprouts has made significant progress over the past few years in expanding its physical store presence as well as boosting its e-commerce capabilities.

Dive Insight:

Sprouts CEO Jack Sinclair confirmed at the event that the company is still on track to open 30 new stores this year, primarily in the grocer’s new small-store model. The success seen with these store openings, which include the grocer’s newly opened location in Haddon Township, New Jersey, is giving Sprouts the confidence to expand even more rapidly next year, Sinclair said. 

The company has focused its store expansion in both new and established markets. California, Arizona, Texas, Florida and the mid-Atlantic have been key drivers, Sinclair noted. 

Investments in Sprouts’ supply chain have also been an important factor in this growth, Sinclair said, and these include new distribution centers in Southern California; Denver; and Orlando, Florida. 

Aside from brick-and-mortar store growth, Sprouts has also been ramping up its e-commerce capabilities. Earlier this week, the grocer confirmed to Grocery Dive that Jim Bahrenburg, former chief information officer for Good Food Holdings, was joining Sprouts as its first-ever chief technology officer.

Molloy said the company currently has a “light loyalty program” that can track approximately 13% of Sprouts’ customers. He also stated that, as far back as 2019, the company has struggled internally with what it was willing to spend on a more fleshed-out, comprehensive and personalized online loyalty program.

Over the next six to 12 months, Molloy said Sprouts would work to find the best ways to gather e-commerce information and launch a “real” loyalty program that can provide feedback on its customers as well as streamline its supply chain process. Sprouts’ goal is to launch the loyalty program by the end of 2024.  

Earlier this year, Sprouts entered the retail media game by launching a platform in partnership with Instacart. Executives at the Tuesday event said the grocer will continue finding ways to connect with its “health enthusiast” customer base.

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