Whole Foods Market scaled back its growth plans this week, but don’t worry Las Colinas, that store built months ago really is going to come to life soon.

A Whole Foods spokeswoman said the company’s first store in Irving is set for a 2017 opening. It was completed several months ago and was first announced in 2014. It’s common for construction of a store to be delayed. It’s a little different when it’s built and sits unopen.

“What’s up with the empty brand new Whole Foods store?” has been a common conversation starter in Irving.

The 45,000-square-foot store will anchor a 85,000 square foot shopping center at the southwest corner of President George Bush Turnpike (State Highway 161) and North MacArthur Blvd. in Las Colinas. Other tenants have been open since last year.

Austin-based Whole Foods on Wednesday reported a 40 percent drop in first-quarter profit and lowered its forecast for the year, including an estimate that same-store sales will decline 2.5 percent in 2017.

Whole Foods also said it will close nine stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico and Utah. It’s also scaling back its growth plans, including its new, smaller format 365 stores.

Here’s what CEO John Mackey said about all that on a call with analysts Wednesday:

“We will continue to grow but no longer have a goal of 1200+ stores. We remain optimistic about the future growth potential for our 365 format but want to see how this next round of stores perform before getting more aggressive.

“As we work to position Whole Foods Market for long-term success, we have carefully evaluated our portfolio of stores and have made the difficult but prudent decision to close nine stores in the second quarter.”

Presented by the Dallas Morning News – February 11, 2017

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