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Natural Grocers Continues Its Momentum in Q1

Growing consumer demand for natural and organic products give retailer strong start to fiscal 2022
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Natural Grocers Set to Welcome Customers to Relocated Colorado Store
Natural Grocers delivered a strong performance in first quarter as the momentum it experienced in the fourth quarter continued into fiscal 2022.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. is continuing to build upon its strong performance in the fourth quarter by posting sales and profit increases for first quarter of fiscal 2022.  

For the period ended Dec. 31, 2021, net sales increased 4.6% from a year ago to $277.3 million at Natural Grocers. Along with increased engagement in the {N}power customer loyalty program, the higher net sales were driven by a 3.8% increase in daily average comparable store sales, with higher transaction counts and basket size.

Bigger basket sizes were certainly attained during the holiday season. Natural Grocers introduced Holly Deals are Gift Bundles for the first time last year. Pairing favorite deals in must-have categories such as "gift of relaxation," "gift of wellness" and "for your furry friends," as well as gift sets under $50, $25 and $10, Gift Bundles made it easy for customers to buy for everyone and stick to a budget.

“Our differentiated offering of the highest quality natural and organic products at Always Affordable Prices continues to drive robust demand from consumers,” said Natural Grocer’s Co-President Kemper Isley. “Furthermore, we appreciate the ongoing dedication and commitment of our crew in executing our operating strategies, including exceptional customer service."

Meanwhile, the grocer reported net income increased 145.5% to $8.9 million. Diluted earnings per share increased 143.8% to $0.39 in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, which Isley attributed to favorable sales growth as well as expense leverage.

The organic and natural foods retailer also reported an adjusted EBITDA increase of 44.7% to $19.5 million in first quarter compared to prior year.

While it did not open any news stores during the first quarter of fiscal 2022, Natural Grocers did relocate one store in Greeley, Colo. The retailer ended the quarter with a total store count of 162 stores in 20 states.

As of Feb. 3, the Natural Grocers has signed leases or acquired property for an additional six new stores. It expects to open four to six new stores and relocate or remodel three or four stores in fiscal 2022.  

In addition to releasing its first quarter report, Natural Grocers also recently published its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, mapping out its standards and results in the document.

Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

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