Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 10, 2016 • 05:00 pm ET

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Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Executive
Walter Robb

of all the business including active steps to improve our price perception and further differentiate and enhance our shopping experience. We are on track with that plan and would like to share some highlights for the progress we are making in several areas.

We continue to open innovative retail stores such as our downtown LA store, which broke regional records for opening day and first day sales and first week sales, and has already established itself as a full-service grocery store and culinary destination. Featuring exciting venues such as acclaimed chef, Roy Choi second Chego outpost in our very own Eight Bar offering daily specials brunch as well as signature craft cocktails and beers. This store offers a fun and compelling in-store experience and is representative of how we continue to evolve for our customers.

We welcome Tien Ho as our Global Vice President of Culinary and Hospitality. Tien has worked with some of the most recognized chefs and hotel brands in the world and we look forward to his leadership in elevating our $3 billion prepared foods and bakery business to an even higher standard.

Our exclusive brand sales increased to over $725 million or 15% of total sales, 150 basis point increase over the prior year. Notable product launches over the past year include a collection of body care products for babies, organic Greek yogurt, animal welfare rated organic sliced deli meats and an expanded assortment of seasonal and holiday items.

Our insta-card sales continue to grow nicely and we now offer delivery in 16 markets with many stores seeing sales as a percentage of total store in the mid-to-high single digits and several stores averaging baskets over $100. We are in the process of expanding the service to more stores and several new markets this year.

Our new labor scheduling program is now active across a majority of our customer sales teams. While still in the early innings, we are pleased with the labor savings we are seeing. We expect to have the program substantially in place across all US customer service teams by the end of Q2 and introduce the program to two additional teams in Q3

We are close to completing the pilot phase of our new point of sale system rollout, which is now being tested in select stores in 10 regions. We expect to complete the pilot phase over the next month after which the rollout will accelerate and we are on track to be in all of our US stores before the end of the calendar year.

In our ongoing effort to better understand and offer more value to our customers, we have accelerated the first component of our national affinity program. We are excited to announce today the launch of digital coupons within our Whole Foods Market mobile app expanding the functionality beyond recipes and shopping lists. Coupons have been the top request among users and now with a simple scan at the register, pre-loaded digital coupons can automatically be applied