Natural Grocer Fresh Thyme Celebrates Strong Growth in 2018
Natural and organic grocer Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has posted double-digit dollar growth in 2018, claiming to have outpaced nearly all other natural retailers during the period.
According to SPINS data, the Downers Grove, Ill.-based grocer recorded 19.8 percent dollar growth during the period.
"We put our shoppers first," said Chris Sherrell, president and CEO of Fresh Thyme. "We strive to connect with our shoppers in meaningful ways and be their go-to resource to jump-start or help them continue their health journeys. It’s that philosophy that has allowed us to post strong growth in both store count and sales this year. We will continue to hire local residents, support local causes and find new ways to connect with community."
During the period, the grocer opened new stores in Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana and Pittsburgh, bringing its store count to 75 locations throughout the Midwest. It also has four new locations scheduled for 2019.
The grocer also grew into the world of ecommerce through a partnership with San Francisco-based Instacart in 2018. Shoppers now can order online and have groceries delivered directly to their homes, helping provide wide access to fresh, organic food.
Additionally, in early January, Fresh Thyme relaunched its website, offering a new look and lots of exciting, inspiring content for consumers. From better-for-you recipes to dietitian tips, the new site is intended to capture the attention of shoppers looking to start or build on their health journey.
Other areas of growth Fresh Thyme is planning in 2019 include:
- Stocking more hyper-local products.
- Providing more technology to make shopping a more seamless, convenient experience.
- Growing private label – in 2018, it added 455 new store-brand products, totaling 1,850 SKUs and helping earn Fresh Thyme's director of private-brand development a 2018 Top Women in Store Brands Award
The news comes a year after the grocer reported its plans to pull back on its lofty growth plans in 2018. At the time of the announcement, it cut back its goals to 10 new stores in 2018, half the number it opened the year prior.
As of the end of 2018, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market operated 75 stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.