Taking Stock

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‘Round The Trade

… so Albertsons is talking to Sprouts Farmers Markets about a possible acquisition, which would be a huge deal if it were to happen – my Wall Street friends peg the odds at 50/50. One thing for certain is that if a deal is completed, it would cost the Boise, ID-based chain plenty. Sprouts – which is a publicly-traded company – is one of the few real success stories of the past few years in the retail grocery segment. The Phoenix, AZ organics merchant operates about 260 stores in 14 states (mostly in the West – but it just opened its first Florida store). Sales last year were $4 billion and the Whole Foods competitor has been averaging about 30 new stores a year for the past four years. And we recently learned that Sprouts has been eyeing at least two locations in the Philadelphia area – one in South Philly (Broad and Washington Streets) and one in the Moorestown (NJ) Mall, in part of the space that Macy’s once occupied. A spokesman for Sprouts would not confirm those deals, adding that the company has to date only officially announced Florida and North Carolina as new market expansion areas for the retailer.