Company Quick10K Filing
Sprouts Farmers Market
Price19.23 EPS1
Shares120 P/E20
MCap2,312 P/FCF7
Net Debt-81 EBIT154
TEV2,231 TEV/EBIT14
TTM 2019-09-29, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2021-01-03 Filed 2021-02-25
10-Q 2020-09-27 Filed 2020-10-28
10-Q 2020-06-28 Filed 2020-07-29
10-Q 2020-03-29 Filed 2020-05-05
10-K 2019-12-29 Filed 2020-02-20
10-Q 2019-09-29 Filed 2019-10-31
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-08-01
10-Q 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-05-02
10-K 2018-12-30 Filed 2019-02-21
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-11-01
10-Q 2018-07-01 Filed 2018-08-02
10-Q 2018-04-01 Filed 2018-05-03
10-K 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-02-22
10-Q 2017-10-01 Filed 2017-11-02
10-Q 2017-07-02 Filed 2017-08-03
10-Q 2017-04-02 Filed 2017-05-04
10-K 2017-01-01 Filed 2017-02-23
10-Q 2016-10-02 Filed 2016-11-03
10-Q 2016-07-03 Filed 2016-08-04
10-Q 2016-04-03 Filed 2016-05-05
10-K 2016-01-03 Filed 2016-02-25
10-Q 2015-09-27 Filed 2015-11-05
10-Q 2015-06-28 Filed 2015-08-06
10-Q 2015-03-29 Filed 2015-05-07
10-K 2014-12-28 Filed 2015-02-26
10-Q 2014-09-28 Filed 2014-11-06
10-Q 2014-06-29 Filed 2014-08-07
10-Q 2014-03-30 Filed 2014-05-07
10-K 2013-12-29 Filed 2014-02-27
10-Q 2013-09-29 Filed 2013-11-07
10-Q 2013-06-30 Filed 2013-08-23
8-K 2020-11-24
8-K 2020-10-28
8-K 2020-07-29
8-K 2020-05-05
8-K 2020-04-28
8-K 2020-02-25
8-K 2020-02-20
8-K 2020-02-20
8-K 2020-01-07
8-K 2019-11-18
8-K 2019-10-30
8-K 2019-08-23
8-K 2019-08-01
8-K 2019-08-01
8-K 2019-06-20
8-K 2019-05-13
8-K 2019-05-02
8-K 2019-04-30
8-K 2019-03-06
8-K 2019-02-26
8-K 2019-02-21
8-K 2018-12-20
8-K 2018-11-29
8-K 2018-11-05
8-K 2018-11-01
8-K 2018-08-06
8-K 2018-08-02
8-K 2018-07-18
8-K 2018-05-10
8-K 2018-05-03
8-K 2018-05-02
8-K 2018-03-27
8-K 2018-02-27
8-K 2018-02-22
8-K 2018-01-08

SFM 10K Annual Report

Part I
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary
EX-21.1 sfm-ex211_11.htm
EX-23.1 sfm-ex231_6.htm
EX-31.1 sfm-ex311_9.htm
EX-31.2 sfm-ex312_7.htm
EX-32.1 sfm-ex321_10.htm
EX-32.2 sfm-ex322_8.htm

Sprouts Farmers Market Earnings 2021-01-03

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
2.82.21.71.10.60.02012201420172020
Assets, Equity
1.51.20.90.60.30.02012201420172020
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
0.20.10.10.0-0.0-0.12012201420172020
Ops, Inv, Fin

sfm-10k_20210103.htm
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended January 3, 2021 

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                      TO                     

 

Commission File Number: 001-36029

 

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

32-0331600

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

5455 East High Street, Suite 111

Phoenix, Arizona 85054

(Address of principal executive offices and zip code)

(480) 814-8016

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, $0.001 par value

 

SFM

 

NASDAQ Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No   

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

  

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  

As of June 26, 2020, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $2,915,586,804, based on the last reported sale price of such stock as reported on The NASDAQ Global Select Market on such date.

As of February 23, 2021, there were 117,953,435 outstanding shares of the registrant’s common stock, $0.001 par value per share.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K where indicated. Such Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year ended January 3, 2021.

 

 


 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

PART I

Item 1.

Business

1

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

14

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

29

Item 2.

Properties

29

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

30

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

30

 

PART II

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

31

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

33

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

35

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

53

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

54

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

96

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

96

Item 9B.

Other Information

96

 

PART III

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

97

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

97

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

97

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

97

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

97

 

PART IV

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

97

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

100

Signatures

101

 

As used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, unless the context otherwise requires, references to the “Company,” “Sprouts,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and, where appropriate, its subsidiaries. The inclusion of our website addresses in this Annual Report on Form 10-K does not include or incorporate by reference the information on or accessible through our websites herein.

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains “forward-looking statements” that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. The statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (referred to as the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (referred to as the “Exchange Act”), including, but not limited to, statements regarding our growth strategy, expectations, beliefs, intentions, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected expenses, and plans and objectives of management. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “project,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “can,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “objective,” or the negative of these terms, and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. However, not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views about future events and involve known risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievement to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Furthermore, such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements.

 


 

 

PART I

Item 1.

Business

Sprouts Farmers Market offers a unique grocery experience featuring an open layout with fresh produce at the heart of the store. Sprouts inspires wellness naturally with a carefully curated assortment of better-for-you products paired with purpose-driven people. We continue to bring the latest in wholesome, innovative products made with lifestyle-friendly ingredients such as organic, plant-based and gluten-free. Since our founding in 2002, we have grown rapidly, significantly increasing our sales, store count and profitability. Headquartered in Phoenix with 362 stores in 23 states as of January 3, 2021, we are one of the largest specialty retailers of fresh, natural and organic food, and fastest growing retailers in the United States.

Our Heritage

In 2002, we opened the first Sprouts Farmers Market store in Chandler, Arizona. From our founding in 2002 through January 3, 2021, we have grown rapidly, significantly increasing our sales, store count and profitability, including successfully rebranding to the Sprouts banner 43 Henry’s Farmers Market and 39 Sunflower Farmers Market stores added in 2011 and 2012, respectively, through acquisitions. These three businesses all trace their lineage back to Henry’s Farmers Market and were built with similar store formats and operations including a strong emphasis on value, produce and service in smaller, convenient locations. The consistency of these formats and operations was an important factor that allowed us to rapidly and successfully rebrand and integrate each of these businesses under the Sprouts banner and on a common platform.

Our Growth Strategy

In 2020, we announced the initial steps of our new long-term growth strategy that we believe will transform our company and drive profitable growth. This strategy focuses on the following areas:

 

Win with Target Customers. We plan to refocus attention on our target customers, identified through research as ‘health enthusiasts’ and ‘experience seekers’, where there is ample opportunity to gain share within these customer segments. Our business can grow by leveraging existing strengths in a unique assortment of better-for-you, quality products and by providing a full omnichannel offering through delivery or pickup via our website or the Sprouts app.

 

Update Format and Expand in Select Markets. We plan to deliver unique smaller stores with expectations of stronger returns, while maintaining the approachable, fresh-focused farmer’s market heritage Sprouts is known for. Our geographic store expansion and new store placement will intersect where our target customers live, in markets with growth potential and supply chain support, providing a long runway of at least 10% annual unit growth beginning in 2022.

 

Create an Advantaged Fresh Supply Chain. We believe our network of fresh distribution centers can drive efficiencies across the chain and support growth plans. To further deliver on our fresh commitment and reputation, as well as to improve financial results, we will aspire to ultimately position fresh distribution centers within a 250-mile radius of stores.

 

Refine Brand and Marketing Approach. We believe we can elevate our national brand recognition and positioning by telling our unique brand story rooted in product innovation and differentiation. We are investing savings from removing our print ad into increasing customer engagement through digital and social connections, driving additional sales growth and loyalty.

 

Deliver on Financial Targets and Box Economics. We will measure and report on the success of this strategy against a number of long-term financial and operational targets, which we believe will result in low double-digit earnings growth.

 

1


 

Our Stores and Operations

We believe our stores represent a blend of farmers markets, natural foods stores, and smaller specialty markets, differentiating us from other food retailers, while also providing a broad offering for our customers.

 

Store Design and Experience. Our stores are organized in a “flipped” conventional food retail store model, positioning our produce at the center of the store surrounded by a specialty grocery offering. We typically dedicate approximately 20% of a store’s selling square footage to produce, which we believe is significantly higher than many of our peers. The stores are designed with open layouts and low displays, intended to provide an easy-to-shop environment that invokes a farmers’ market experience and allows our customers to view the entire store. Our small box format allows for quick in-and-out service, and our curated assortment of responsibly and locally sourced items offer surprise and delightful shopping experiences.

 

Customer Engagement. We are committed to providing, and believe we have, best-in-class customer engagement, which builds trust with our customers and differentiates the Sprouts shopping experience from that of many of our competitors. We design our stores to maximize personal connections with our purpose-driven team members, as we believe this interaction provides an opportunity to educate customers and provides a valued, differentiated customer service model, which enhances customer loyalty and increases visits and purchases over time. In addition, we continue to expand mobile and digital opportunities to further engage with our customers and provide a full omnichannel offering as many customers use both in-store and online for their grocery needs.

 

Store Size. Currently, our stores are generally between 28,000 and 30,000 square feet, which we believe is smaller than many of our peers’ average stores. Under our long-term growth strategy, our future stores will feature a smaller box size, generally between 21,000 and 25,000 square feet, that will be less expensive to build, less complicated to operate and leverage the strengthens of our older, highly productive stores. Our stores are located in a variety of mid-sized and larger shopping centers, lifestyle centers and in certain cases, independent single-unit, stand-alone developments. The size of our stores and our real estate strategy provide us flexibility in site selection, including entering into new developments or existing sites formerly operated by other retailers, including other grocery banners, office supply stores, electronics retailers and other second generation space.

 

Team Members. Our stores are typically staffed with 80 to 100 full and part-time team members. We strive to create a strong and unified company culture and develop team members throughout the entire organization, and we assist our store teams with our store support office and regional teams. We have prioritized making investments in training that we believe enhances our team members’ knowledge, particularly with respect to our expanded and evolving product offerings, so our team members can continue to engage and assist our customers.  We believe our team members contribute to our consistently high service standards and that this helps us successfully open and operate our stores.

Our Product Offering

We are a complete natural and organic food retailer that offers a unique shopping experience for our customers. To offer the right assortment of healthy alternatives and good-for-you options, we tailor our assortment to fresh, natural and organic foods and healthier options throughout all of our departments, with innovative products that feature lifestyle friendly ingredients.

Fresh, Natural and Organic Foods

We focus our product offerings on fresh, natural and organic foods. Foods are generally considered “fresh” if they are minimally processed or in their raw state not subject to any type of preservation or freezing. Natural foods can be broadly defined as foods that are minimally processed and are free of synthetic preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and other additives, growth hormones, antibiotics, hydrogenated oils, stabilizers and emulsifiers. Essentially, natural foods are largely or completely free of non-naturally occurring chemicals and are as near to their whole, natural state as possible.

 

2


 

Organic foods refer to the food itself as well as the method by which it is produced. In general, organic operations must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using only approved substances and must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agency. Further, retailers that handle, store or sell organic products must implement measures to protect their organic character.

Product Categories

We categorize the varieties of products we sell as perishable and non-perishable. Perishable product categories include produce, meat, seafood, deli, bakery, floral and dairy and dairy alternatives. Non-perishable product categories include grocery, vitamins and supplements, bulk items, frozen foods, beer and wine, and natural health and body care. The following is a breakdown of our perishable and non-perishable sales mix:

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Perishables

 

 

57.2

%

 

 

57.7

%

 

 

57.5

%

Non-Perishables

 

 

42.8

%

 

 

42.3

%

 

 

42.5

%

 

Departments

While we focus on providing an abundant and affordable offering of natural and organic produce, our stores also include the following departments that enable customers to have a full grocery shopping experience: packaged groceries, meat and seafood, deli, vitamins and supplements, dairy and dairy alternatives, bulk items, baked goods, frozen foods, natural health and body care, and beer and wine. Our departments reflect our intentional curation of responsibly and locally sourced products. We believe each of our departments provides high-quality, differentiated and value-oriented offerings for our customers which we continuously refine with our customer preferences in mind.

Private Label

We have been expanding the breadth of our Sprouts branded products over the last several years and have a dedicated product development team focused on continuing this growth. These products feature competitively priced specialty and innovative products, with great taste profiles and quality and strict ingredient standards that we believe equal or exceed national brands. Our private label program accounted for approximately 16% of our revenue in fiscal 2020 and features approximately 3,500 products. Our private label brands drive value by offering our customers lower prices while still delivering generally higher margin as compared to branded products, as well as an assortment of differentiated, attribute-driven products that are only available at our stores. We believe our private label products build and enhance the Sprouts brand and allow us to distinguish ourselves from our competitors, promoting customer loyalty and creating a destination shopping experience.

Product Innovation

Our stores feature a curated selection of differentiated, innovative products that resonate with our target customers. Since our founding, Sprouts has carried a wide selection of innovative natural and organic brands that align with our mission to inspire healthy living for everyone. Our centralized buying strategy has always put niche brands first, and we have nurtured and grown many once-shoestring brands that now serve as category leaders.  As we continue to grow, we are committed to growing our relationships with niche vendors to bring their unique, quality products to the millions of shoppers who visit our stores every week. Sprouts is on the forefront of food innovation and has paved the way for natural food trends for nearly two decades. We embrace product innovation, and our stores serve as an incubator for growth across the natural foods industry.

 

3


 

In 2020, we have launched more than 5,100 new and unique branded and private label products, focused purely on innovation and taste. We feature thousands of responsibly sourced products with certifications and attributes that are desired by our target customer base, including organic, plant-based, fair trade, gluten-free and humane certified. We will continue to lead in product innovation to bring more new, innovative offerings into every department of our stores.

Sourcing and Distribution

We manage the buying of, and set the standards for, the products we sell, and we source our products from hundreds of vendors and suppliers, both domestically and internationally. We are committed to sourcing products in a manner that respects people, our communities and the environment, and we partner with suppliers and service providers that share this commitment, as included in our Supplier Code of Conduct. We work closely with our supply chain partners to improve animal welfare standards, sustainable seafood sourcing, support for organic agriculture and the ethical treatment of people. For an overview of our product sourcing policies and programs, please visit: about.sprouts.com/product-sourcing/.

We believe, based on our industry experience, that our strong relationships in the produce business provide us a competitive advantage and enable us to offer high-quality produce at prices we believe are significantly below those of conventional food retailers and even further below high-end natural and organic food retailers. Our centralized buyers are supported by dedicated regional procurement teams that provide us flexibility to procure produce on local, regional and national levels. Our regional produce buying teams allow us to form meaningful relationships with farmers, and our flexibility allows us to purchase produce in smaller quantities than larger chains to help us bring new and innovative products to our customers before they become commoditized. These products become treasure hunt items found at our stores.

Given the importance of produce to our stores, we source, warehouse and self-distribute nearly all produce. This ensures our produce meets our high-quality standards. We have department and product specifications that ensure a consistently high level of quality across product ingredients, production standards and other key measures of freshness, natural and organic standards. These specifications are measured at both entry and exit points to our facilities. We manage every aspect of quality control in our produce distribution centers.

As a pillar of our long-term growth strategy, we expect to create an advantaged supply chain and aspire to locate our distribution centers within 250 miles of the majority of our stores. We currently have five distribution centers, with two located in California and one located in each of Arizona, Texas and Georgia. In 2021, we expect to open two new distribution centers, one in Colorado and one in Florida. The increased proximity of our distribution centers to our stores will allow us to deliver on our fresh commitment to our customers, source more from products from local farmers and improve efficiencies in our distribution process.

We believe our scale, together with this decentralized purchasing structure and flexibility generates cost savings, which we then pass on to our customers. Distributors and farmers recognize the volume of goods we sell through our stores and our flexible purchasing and supply chain model allows us to opportunistically acquire produce at great value which we will frequently pass along to our customers.

For all non-produce products, we use third-party distributors and vendors to distribute products directly to our stores following specifications and quality control standards that are set by us.

KeHE Distributors, LLC (“KeHE”), is our primary supplier of dry grocery and frozen food products, accounting for approximately 42%, 40% and 34% of our total purchases in fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Another 3% of our total purchases in fiscal 2020, 3% of our total purchases in fiscal 2019 and 4% in fiscal 2018, respectively, were made through our secondary supplier, United Natural Foods, Inc. (“UNFI”). See “Risk Factors—Disruption of significant supplier relationships could negatively affect our business.”

 

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Our Pricing, Marketing and Advertising

Pricing

As a farmers market style store, we emphasize low prices throughout the entire store, as we are able to pass along the benefits of our scale and purchasing power to our customers. We position our prices with everyday value for our customers with regular promotions that drive traffic and trial.

Marketing and Advertising

During 2020 as part of our long-term growth strategy to refine our brand and marketing approach, we launched our new branding campaign: Sprouts, Where Goodness Grows. This campaign, which launched on television, social, digital and radio media, is meant to drive home our farmers market experience by highlighting produce, the heart of our stores, and inspire our target customers to engage with our brand by focusing on our differentiation and innovation.

We believe the launch of our new brand will reach more customers through our story telling on television and digital media than our prior approach of reaching customers by paper flyers, which we largely discontinued in 2020. During 2020, we averaged more than 45 million confirmed views of our weekly digital flyer as compared to our average distribution of the 21 million weekly print flyers in the past. Leveraging digital communications targeted to specific geographic areas also provides us with greater flexibility to offer different promotions and respond to local competitive activity and allows us to make our customers aware of what is new and different in our stores in real time.

We also advertise our sales promotions and tell our unique brand story through the use of outdoor billboards and targeted blogger and influencer programming in specific markets.

We developed and maintain the Sprouts app on which we include digital coupons and in-store scan features, and our website, www.sprouts.com, on which we display our weekly sales flyers, highlight our product offerings and offer special deals. Our website and app also feature online ordering for delivery and pickup. We offer home deliveries from our stores through partner services in all of our markets nationwide, as well as “click and collect” pickup service at all of our stores which we quickly launched in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to expand our social media platform. As of January 3, 2021, we had approximately 1.9 million social media followers, primarily on Facebook and Instagram, to promote our brand. We also maintain a network of more than 100 social influencers across the country who receive special mobile coupons to try new products each month. We will continue to explore mobile and digital opportunities to further connect with our customers and leverage data for better customer insights.

Our Customers

We have employed deep research to understand our target customer, what occasions drive purchases, what they buy and where they buy it. Our research yielded a better understanding that our target customer is comprised of two specific groups: health enthusiasts and experience seekers, and we will focus on these groups in our long-term growth strategy.

Our target customer seeks better-for-you grocery options and innovative, quality products to support their healthy lifestyle. We believe they are engaged and connected to what they eat – how it makes them feel, where it comes from and the role it can play in their lives. Our target customer covers a wide range of incomes and age demographics – from Baby Boomers to Generation Z – and seek a variety of healthy and organic options in addition to a great store experience. We believe we only serve a small portion of these target customers at present and have an opportunity to gain a larger proportion of their market share of food-at-home purchases by targeting and identifying those innovative, attribute-driven, quality products and providing the in-store experience and support in living a healthy lifestyle that they are seeking.

 

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Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Central to our identity is a genuine commitment to social and environmental responsibility. We care deeply about the health and well-being of our customers, team members, communities and our planet.  We work collaboratively with our supply chain partners, community organizations, and industry experts to understand our material impacts and prioritize where we direct our environmental efforts to maximize our influence. Core areas of focus for us include hunger relief and waste management, carbon emissions reduction related to in-store energy and refrigeration and transportation.

For more information on our sustainability and social responsibility efforts, please visit about.sprouts.com/sustainability/.

The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation

In 2015, we formed the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation (referred to as our “Foundation”), a registered 501(c)(3) organization focused on promoting nutrition education and increasing access to fresh, nutritious food in communities where Sprouts operates. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has provided $12 million in donations to more than 250 non-profit organizations. Sprouts fully funds the Foundation’s programs directly. For more information on our Foundation, please visit about.sprouts.com/sprouts-foundation/.

Growing Our Business

As part of our long-term growth plan, we plan to expand our store base with at least 10% annual unit growth beginning in 2022. Our geographic store expansion and new store placement will intersect where our target customers live, in markets with growth potential and supply chain support, providing a long runway for us to achieve our growth target.

We intend to continue to focus our growth on areas where we have a large concentration of stores, such as California and Texas, while building out our newer markets, such as Florida and the Mid-Atlantic region, to achieve a larger concentration of stores. We have opened 22, 28 and 30 new stores in fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.  We expect to continue to expand our store base with approximately 20 store openings planned for fiscal 2021. Beyond 2021, we expect to begin targeting at least 10% annual unit growth.

 

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The below diagram shows our store footprint, by state, as of January 3, 2021.

 

We will measure the success of our growth strategy against the following long-term targets:

 

New store cost to build reduced by approximately 20%;

 

New store cash on cash returns of approximately 40%;

 

At least 10% unit growth annually, beginning in 2022; and

 

Low single-digit comparable store sales growth.

 

We believe that achieving these targets will generate low double-digit earnings growth.

New Store Development

We have an extensive process for new store site selection, which includes in-depth analysis of area demographics, competition, growth potential, traffic patterns, grocery spend and other key criteria. We have a dedicated real estate team as well as a real estate committee that includes certain of our executive officers. Multiple members of this committee often conduct an on-site inspection prior to approving any new location.

We have been successful across a variety of urban, suburban and rural locations in diverse geographies, from coast to coast, which we believe supports the portability of the Sprouts brand and store model into a wide range of markets. As we implement our long-term growth strategy, our future stores will feature a smaller box size than our recent vintages, generally between 21,000 and 25,000 square feet. By reducing our store square footage, we expect that our newer stores will have a lower cost to build and decreased occupancy and operating costs, while reducing non-selling space that will result in generally flat sales compared to our larger stores. These cost reductions will allow us to deliver strong returns and continue to accelerate our growth.

See “Item 2. Properties” for additional information with respect to our store locations.

 

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Seasonality

Our business is subject to modest seasonality. Our average weekly sales per store fluctuate throughout the year and are typically highest in the first half of the fiscal year and lowest during the fourth quarter. 

COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic, and on March 13, 2020, the United States declared the pandemic to be a national emergency. As COVID-19 has continued to spread, the situation has continued to evolve, including, in particular, the surge in positive COVID-19 cases in various states around the country during the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 as state economies have largely reopened. Our results of operations for the year ended January 3, 2021 have benefited from increased demand from our customers initially stockpiling groceries and wellness products at the onset of the pandemic and continuing to consume more food at home as restaurants have not fully reopened to pre-pandemic levels, and we in turn have made significant investments in compensation, benefits and personal protective equipment for our front-line store team members, as well as enhanced store sanitation procedures. We have also incurred increased ecommerce fees as consumers have increasingly used online shopping alternatives to purchase our products during the pandemic. However, the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our results of operations for future periods will ultimately depend on the length and severity of the pandemic, the efficacy and adoption of the COVID-19 vaccines and governmental and consumer actions taken in response, which we cannot predict. These uncertainties make it challenging for our management to estimate our future business performance. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors— The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted our business and could negatively impact our financial condition.” for additional information.

Our Competition and Industry

We operate within the competitive and highly fragmented grocery store industry which encompasses a wide array of food retailers, including large conventional independent and chain supermarkets, warehouse clubs, small grocery and convenience stores, and natural and organic, specialty, mass, discount and other food retail and online formats. Based on our industry experience, we believe we are capturing significant market share from conventional supermarkets and specialty concepts in the supermarket segment.

Conventional supermarket customers are attracted to unique product offerings, formats and differentiated shopping experiences. Based on our industry experience, we also believe consumers are increasingly focused on health and wellness and are actively seeking healthy foods in order to improve eating habits. This overall demand for healthy products is driven by many factors, including increased awareness about the benefits of eating healthy, a greater focus on preventative health measures, and the rising costs of health care. We believe customers are attracted to retailers with comprehensive health and wellness product offerings. As a result, food retailers are offering an increased assortment of fresh, natural and organic foods as well as vitamins and supplements to meet this demand.

Our competitors include conventional supermarkets such as Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway, and other food retailers such as Whole Foods, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and Trader Joe’s, as well as mass or discount retailers, warehouse membership clubs, online retailers such as Amazon, specialty stores, restaurants, and home delivery and meal solution companies. We believe Sprouts offers consumers a compelling value relative to our competitors and will continue to benefit from increasing consumer focus on health, wellness and value, as well as their emphasis on an enhanced shopping experience featuring a broad selection of products along with exceptional customer engagement.

 

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Insurance and Risk Management

We use a combination of insurance and self-insurance to provide for potential liability for workers’ compensation, general liability, product liability, director and officers’ liability, team member healthcare benefits, and other casualty and property risks. Changes in legal trends and interpretations, variability in inflation rates, changes in the nature and method of claims settlement, benefit level changes due to changes in applicable laws, insolvency of insurance carriers, and changes in discount rates could all affect ultimate settlements of claims. We evaluate our insurance requirements on an ongoing basis to ensure we maintain adequate levels of coverage.

Trademarks and Other Intellectual Property

We believe that our intellectual property has substantial value and has contributed to the success of our business. In particular, our trademarks, including our registered SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET® and SPROUTS® trademarks, are valuable assets that we believe reinforce our customers’ favorable perception of our stores. In addition to our trademarks, we believe that our trade dress, which includes the human-scale design, arrangement, color scheme and other physical characteristics of our stores and product displays, is a large part of the farmers market atmosphere we create in our stores and enables customers to distinguish our stores and products from those of our competitors.

From time to time, third parties have used names similar to ours, have applied to register trademarks similar to ours and, we believe, have infringed or misappropriated our intellectual property rights. Third parties have also, from time to time, opposed our trademarks and challenged our intellectual property rights. We respond to these actions on a case-by-case basis. The outcomes of these actions have included both negotiated out-of-court settlements as well as litigation.

Information Technology Systems

We have made significant investments in information technology infrastructure and business systems, including point-of-sale, data warehouse, labor management, purchasing, inventory control, demand forecasting, and financial and reporting systems. Our recent investments have focused on solutions to enhance our operational productivity, optimize our labor, maintain our in-stock positions and forecast our customer demand, while maintaining our high quality and value proposition. All of our stores operate under one integrated information technology platform which allows for our current and future store growth. We will continue making investments in our current information technology infrastructure and invest in systems that scale to support our growth and add efficiencies to our growing operations. In addition, we continue our focused efforts on limiting risk of a cyber-breach by investing in IT security technology tools, resources, penetration assessments, third-party security audits and employee training.

Regulatory Compliance

Our stores are subject to various local, state and federal laws, regulations and administrative practices affecting our business. We must comply with provisions regulating health and sanitation standards, food labeling, equal employment, minimum wages, data privacy, environmental protection, licensing for the sale of food and, in many stores, licensing for beer and wine or other alcoholic beverages. Our operations, including the manufacturing, processing, formulating, packaging, labeling and advertising of products by us and our vendors are subject to regulation by various federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) and the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”).

Food. The FDA has comprehensive authority to regulate the safety of food and food ingredients (other than meat, poultry, catfish and certain egg products), as well as dietary supplements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”). Similarly, the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (“FSIS”) is the public health agency responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat,

 

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poultry, catfish and certain egg products is safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

Congress amended the FDCA in 2011 through passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”), which greatly expanded FDA’s regulatory obligations over all actors in the supply chain. Industry actors continue to determine the best pathways to implement FSMA’s regulatory mandates and FDA’s promulgating regulations throughout supply chains, as most requirements are now in effect. Such regulations mandate that risk-based preventive controls be observed by the majority of food producers. This authority applies to all domestic food facilities and, by way of imported food supplier verification requirements, to all foreign facilities that supply food products.

The FDA and FSIS also exercise broad jurisdiction over the labeling and promotion of food. Labeling is a broad concept that, under certain circumstances, extends even to product-related claims and representations made on a company’s website or similar printed or graphic medium. All foods, including dietary supplements, must bear labeling that provides consumers with essential information with respect to standards of identity, net quantity, nutrition facts labeling, ingredient statement, and allergen disclosures. The agencies also regulate the use of structure/function claims, health claims and nutrient content claims. Additional in-store labeling requirements, such as disclosure of calories and other nutrient information for frequently sold items are now in effect. In addition, various nutrition initiatives that will impact many actors in our supply chain, such as the elimination of certain partially hydrogenated oils and the adoption of a new nutritional labeling format, began to go into effect in 2020.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (“AMS”) oversees compliance with the National Organic Standards Program and related labeling activity. In addition, AMS has responsibility for newly enacted requirements surrounding the disclosure of the presence of bioengineered ingredients in food, scheduled to become mandatory in 2022.

AMS also enforces the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) which imposes fair business practices on parties engaged in the sale of perishable fruits, vegetables and some nuts.  Entities that buy and sell perishable commodities require a PACA license and disputes about sales of produce are subject to rules and regulations under PACA.

Dietary Supplements. The FDA has comprehensive authority to regulate the safety of dietary supplements, dietary ingredients, labeling and current good manufacturing practices. Congress amended the FDCA in 1994 through passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (“DSHEA”), which greatly expanded FDA’s regulatory authority over dietary supplements. Through DSHEA, dietary supplements became a separately defined FDA-regulated product that is also subject to the general food regulations. Dietary supplements are allowed to carry structure/function claims which relate to support of healthy functioning. However, no statement on a dietary supplement may expressly or implicitly represent that it will diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent a disease.

Food and Dietary Supplement Advertising. The FTC exercises jurisdiction over the advertising of foods and dietary supplements. The FTC has the power to institute monetary sanctions and the imposition of consent decrees and penalties that can severely limit a company’s business practices. In recent years, the FTC has instituted numerous enforcement actions against dietary supplement companies for failure to have adequate substantiation for claims made in advertising or for the use of false or misleading advertising claims.

Compliance. As is common in our industry, we rely on our suppliers and contract manufacturers to ensure that the products they manufacture and sell to us comply with all applicable regulatory and legislative requirements. In general, we seek certifications of compliance, representations and warranties, indemnification and/or insurance from our suppliers and contract manufacturers. However, even with adequate insurance and indemnification, any claims of non-compliance could significantly damage our reputation and consumer confidence in products we sell. In addition, the failure of such products to comply with applicable regulatory and legislative requirements could prevent us from marketing the products or require us to recall or remove such products from our stores. In order to comply with

 

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applicable statutes and regulations, our suppliers and contract manufacturers have from time to time reformulated, eliminated or relabeled certain of their products and we have revised certain provisions of our sales and marketing program.

Human Capital Management

At Sprouts, we are proud of our “People Powered, Purpose Driven” culture focused on improving the health of the communities we serve. Customer engagement is critical to our culture and growth plans, and we place great importance on recruiting candidates and retaining team members that have a love of food, pride themselves on service excellence, and share our purpose driven culture. We build on our targeted recruitment efforts with robust training on customer engagement and product knowledge to ensure there is friendly, knowledgeable staff in every store. As of January 3, 2021, we had approximately 33,000 team members. None of our team members are subject to collective bargaining agreements. We consider our relations with our team members to be good, and we have never experienced a strike or significant work stoppage.

2020 Highlights. Despite the challenges that occurred during 2020 related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud of the following achievements during the year:

 

As one of the fastest growing retailers in the country, we created 2,500 new jobs in 2020.

 

Additionally, we promoted 7,200 team members and filled 72% of store manager positions with internal candidates.

 

Team members saved approximately $20.0 million through store discounts.

 

Awarded 75 scholarships to team members and dependents, equating to more than $1.4 million in scholarships since our scholarship program began.

 

Sprouts was once again recognized as one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies® in 2020, ranking third in the Food & Drugstores category.

COVID-19 Response. Our store team members have served on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working diligently under difficult circumstances to ensure our stores were open to our communities so our customers had access to healthy food to feed their families. We implemented the following measures to protect and reward our store team members for their extraordinary efforts:

 

From March through September 2020, we provided our store team members with $2 per hour bonus payments. In the fourth quarter of 2020, we returned to our standard quarterly store bonus plan and added an incremental bonus potential based on store sales metrics.

 

We guaranteed quarterly bonus payments for salaried store positions.

 

We provided our team members with up to 14 additional days of paid sick or quarantine time due to COVID-19 exposure, as well as 14 days of paid time off for team members considered high-risk by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

 

We hired a team dedicated to navigating team members through positive cases in our stores.

 

We established a COVID-19 disaster relief fund available for team members in need.

 

Our benefit plans covered 100% of COVID-19 testing costs, and we reimbursed testing costs for team members without benefits coverage.

 

We provided additional support through our existing back-up daycare program for eligible team members and relaxed our attendance policy in recognition of the challenges caused by the pandemic.

 

We implemented daily health screen and temperature checks for all team members.

 

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To provide a safe working environment for our team members and our customers, we increased sanitation protocols, secured personal protective equipment for our team members, installed plexiglass at all registers and implemented social distancing and mask protocols at our stores.

 

We are offering our team members up to four hours of paid time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Total Rewards. We are proud to offer our team members competitive pay, store discounts, and opportunities for professional growth. We regularly assess prevailing wages in the markets in which we operate and offer competitive wages and benefits as we believe engaged team members contribute to consumer satisfaction. Our total rewards program features the following:

 

We have a quarterly bonus plan for which all store team members are eligible, and during 2020, we have increased the bonus amounts our team members can earn based on store performance.

 

We offer a paid sick time policy for all team members and offer generous leave programs.

 

Beginning in 2021, all hourly team members are eligible for semi-annual reviews and merit increases.

 

We offer team members the opportunity to participate in the Western Association of Food Chains’ Retail Management Certificate Program that provides the core skills and knowledge to move into a management role in the retail industry. During 2020, 120 Sprouts team members enrolled in this program.

 

We offer The Henry Boney Memorial Scholarship, which is designed to offer team members or their dependents a $2,000 scholarship to achieve their college dreams.

 

All team members over 18 can enroll in our 401(k) plan the first of the month following three months of service, and we offer a contribution matching program.

 

We offer a variety of medical plans to allow team members the ability to choose the best plan for them and their families.

 

We offer a well-being program dedicated to the mental, physical, emotional and financial well-being of our team members.

 

All Sprouts team members can save at our stores, with a 15% Work Perk Discount that can increase to 20% with a simple annual wellness check.

Education, Training and Safety. We believe Sprouts is an attractive place to work with significant growth opportunities for our approximately 33,000 team members. To grow the next generation of leaders at Sprouts, we have developed a Leadership Training Model for high-potential internal team members to take their careers to the next level, and to on-board store managers new to Sprouts. In 2020, we had more than 40 Leadership graduates totaling 8,000 hours in training. We have also partnered with an industry-leading virtual reality technology firm to implement cutting-edge virtual reality training in all of our 362 stores in 2020. Our store team members completed over 475,000 hours of in-store training, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional training programs transitioned to webinars and learning modules. 

We are committed to maintaining a safe environment for our team members and customers. Our stores implement various programs to reduce and eliminate hazards, resulting in a safer workplace and improved shopping experience. In 2020, our stores reported a 20% reduction in non-COVID worker compensation claims over the prior year.

Diversity and Inclusion. We pride ourselves on supporting an inclusive, respectful, and caring culture throughout our organization. In 2020, approximately 51% of our team members were female and approximately 48% of our team members were ethnically diverse, which we believe to be in-line or slightly better than our grocery peers. Further, of our promotions across all store roles, 55% were awarded to

 

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female team members and 49% were awarded to ethnically diverse team members. We conduct formal talent review and succession planning to identify top talent and intentionally make hiring and promotional decisions that consider inclusion of underrepresented team members.

Corporate Offices

Our principal executive offices are located at 5455 E. High Street, Suite 111, Phoenix, Arizona 85054. Our website address is www.sprouts.com. The information on or accessible through our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

Available Information

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports, and the Proxy Statement for our Annual Meeting of Stockholders are made available, free of charge, on our investor relations website at http://investors.sprouts.com/, as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports have been filed with or furnished to the SEC.

 

 

 

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Item 1A.

Risk Factors

Certain factors may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes. Any of the following risks could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition, or prospects and cause the value of our common stock to decline.

Market and Other External Risks

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted our business and could negatively impact our financial condition.

The unprecedented global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that began in the first quarter of 2020 has disrupted our business and could continue to do so for the foreseeable future until the impact of the pandemic subsides.

Although our grocery store operations are generally deemed “essential” operations by federal, state and local authorities, thereby allowing our stores to remain open despite government mandated stay-at-home or similar shelter-in-place orders, there can be no assurance that our stores will continue to be allowed by governmental authorities to remain open while the COVID-19 pandemic persists or if it worsens. A closure of stores would adversely impact our net sales, and any alleged failure to comply with such orders or any other governmental regulations promulgated in response to the COVID-19 crisis could result in costly litigation, enforcement actions and penalties. Even if our stores remain open, any reimplementation of reduced operating hours and restrictions on the number of customers allowed in our stores at a given time to promote social distancing could negatively impact store traffic. Store traffic may further decline as customers shop less frequently, choose other retail or online outlets to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19 or return to restaurants and other outlets to purchase and consume food as state economies reopen.  We have incurred incremental ecommerce fees as more customers adopt our digital solutions.

Although our operations have generally stabilized since the onset of the crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has strained our entire supply chain, store operations and merchandising functions. We have encountered difficulties and delays in obtaining products from our distributors, delivering products to our stores and adequately staffing our stores and distribution centers. If we are unable to continue to source, transport and stock products in our stores or to maintain adequate staffing levels in our stores and distribution centers due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis, we will be unable to maintain inventory levels and continue to operate our stores at levels to meet customer demand. Further, if we do not identify and source appropriate products in response to our customers’ evolving needs during the COVID-19 crisis, we may lose existing customers and fail to attract new customers, which could cause our sales to decrease, resulting in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We have incurred, and expect to continue to incur, significant costs to support our front-line store team members, including expenses for added labor, store bonuses, government-mandated wage increases, enhanced benefits and safety measures. If, as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to continue to provide our team members with appropriate compensation and protective measures, we may be unable to retain current or attract new team members to perform necessary functions within our stores and engage with our customers. Because of the increased demand arising from the pandemic, we have been hiring new team members. There is no assurance we will be able to hire sufficient numbers of individuals to meet our needs. In addition, nearly all of our store support team members remain in a remote work environment in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Our failure to provide appropriate technological resources and maintain adequate safeguards around our remote work environment could result in loss of productivity and usage errors by our team members or the loss or compromise of confidential customer, team member or company data. In addition, the remote work environment may increase certain risks to our business, including phishing and other cybersecurity attacks.  

 

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We have experienced instances of our team members contracting COVID-19 that have generally tracked national trends, and in response, we follow CDC and other health authority guidelines to report positive test results and reduce further transmission. Any widespread transmission of COVID-19 among our team members within a particular store or geographical area might necessitate that we temporarily close impacted stores, which may negatively affect our business and financial condition, as well as the perception of our company. Further, if individuals believe they have contracted COVID-19 in our stores or believe that we have not taken appropriate precautionary measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, we may be subject to costly and time-consuming litigation.

Although we have not experienced significant delays to date, our growth plans for 2021 and beyond may be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic if our new store construction projects are placed on hold or delayed due to restrictions on construction work or constraints on necessary resources, and we expect such delays may be possible for as long as the COVID-19 crisis persists.

Measures taken by governmental authorities to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including stay-at-home orders and business closures, as well as limited subsequent economic stimulus initiatives, have resulted in wide-scale unemployment and financial hardship for a large portion of the U.S. population. Shifts in demand to lower priced options and reduced traffic from stockpiling in preparation for the pandemic or from consuming less food at home as restaurants and other businesses reopen may negatively impact sales in subsequent periods. The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic on the geographic areas where we operate may adversely affect our business.

The full extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business and financial condition will largely depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including new information which may emerge concerning the severity of the pandemic and the actions necessary to contain COVID-19 or treat its impact.

General economic conditions that impact consumer spending or result in competitive responses could adversely affect our business.

The retail food business is sensitive to changes in general economic conditions. In addition to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, recessionary economic cycles, increases in interest rates, higher prices for commodities, fuel and other energy, inflation, high levels of unemployment and consumer debt, depressed home values, high tax rates, tariffs and other macroeconomic factors that affect consumer spending and confidence or buying habits may materially adversely affect the demand for products we sell in our stores. As a result, consumers may be more cautious and could shift their spending to lower-priced competition, such as warehouse membership clubs, dollar stores, online retailers or extreme value formats, which could have a material and adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

In addition, prolonged inflation or deflation can impact our business. Food deflation across multiple categories, particularly in produce and proteins, could reduce sales growth and earnings if our competitors react by lowering their retail pricing and expanding their promotional activities, which can lead to retail deflation higher than cost deflation that could reduce our sales, gross profit margins and comparable store sales. Food inflation, when combined with reduced consumer spending, could also reduce sales, gross profit margins and comparable store sales. As a result, our operating results and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

Our failure to compete successfully in our competitive industry may adversely affect our revenues and profitability.

We operate in the competitive retail food industry. Our competitors include supermarkets, natural food stores, mass or discount retailers, warehouse membership clubs, online retailers and specialty stores, as well as restaurants and home delivery and home meal solution providers. These businesses compete with us for products, customers and locations. We compete on a combination of factors, primarily differentiated product selection, quality, convenience, customer engagement, store format, location, price and delivery options. Our failure to offer products or services that appeal to our customers’ preferences could lead to a decrease in our sales. To the extent that our competitors offer lower prices or similar products, our ability to maintain profit margins and sales levels may be negatively impacted. In addition, some competitors are aggressively expanding their number of stores or their product offerings,

 

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increasing the space allocated to perishable, prepared and specialty foods, including fresh, natural and organic foods, and enhancing options of engaging with and delivering their products to customers. Some of these competitors may have been in business longer or may have greater financial or marketing resources than we do and may be able to devote greater resources to sourcing, promoting and selling their products. As competition in certain areas or platforms intensifies or competitors open stores or expand delivery options within close proximity to our stores, our results of operations and cash flows may be negatively impacted through a loss of sales, decrease in customer traffic and market share, reduction in margin from competitive price changes or greater operating costs.

We rely heavily on sales of fresh produce and quality natural and organic products, and product supply disruptions may have an adverse effect on our profitability and operating results.

We have a significant focus on perishable products, including fresh produce and natural and organic products. Sales of produce accounted for approximately 22% and 23% of our net sales in fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively. Despite temporary challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have generally not experienced significant difficulty to date in maintaining the supply of our produce and fresh, natural and organic products that meet our quality standards. However, there is no assurance that these products will be available to meet our needs in the future. The availability of such products at competitive prices depends on many factors beyond our control, including the number and size of farms that grow natural or organic crops or raise livestock that meet our quality, welfare and production standards, tariffs and import regulations or restrictions on foreign-sourced products and the ability of our vendors to maintain organic, non-genetically modified or other applicable third-party certifications for such products. Produce is also vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, storms, frosts, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, pestilences and other extreme or abnormal environmental conditions (including the potential effects of climate change), any of which can lower crop yields and reduce crop size and quality. This could reduce the available supply of, or increase the price of, fresh produce, which may adversely impact sales of our fresh produce and our other products that rely on produce as a key ingredient.

In addition, we and our suppliers compete with other food retailers in the procurement of fresh, natural and organic products, which are often less available than conventional products. If our competitors significantly increase their fresh, natural and organic product offerings due to increases in consumer demand or otherwise, we and our suppliers may not be able to obtain a sufficient supply of such products on favorable terms, or at all, and our sales may decrease, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We could also suffer significant inventory losses in the event of disruption of our supply chain network or extended power outages in our stores or distribution centers. If we are unable to maintain inventory levels suitable for our business needs, it would materially adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The current geographic concentration of our stores creates an exposure to local or regional downturns or catastrophic occurrences.

As of January 3, 2021, we operated 126 stores in California, making California our largest market representing 35% of our total stores in fiscal 2020. We also have store concentration in Texas, Arizona and Colorado, operating 47, 42 and 32 stores in those states, respectively, and representing 13%, 12% and 9% of our total stores in fiscal 2020, respectively. As we execute our long-term growth strategy, we may become even more concentrated in these markets. In addition, we source a large portion of our produce from California, ranging from approximately 40% to approximately 70% depending on the time of year. As a result, our business is currently more susceptible to regional conditions than the operations of more geographically diversified competitors, and we are vulnerable to economic downturns in those regions. Any unforeseen events or circumstances that negatively affect these areas in which we have stores or from which we obtain products could materially adversely affect our revenues and profitability. These factors include, among other things, changes in demographics, population and employee bases; regulation; wage increases; changes in economic conditions; floods, prolonged droughts, windstorms such as tornados, cyclones, hurricanes and tropical storms, winter storms or other severe weather conditions (whether or not caused by climate change); and other catastrophic occurrences, such as pandemics, earthquakes or wildfires. Such conditions may result in reduced customer traffic and

 

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spending in our stores, physical damage to our stores, full or partial loss of power in our stores, loss of inventory, closure of one or more of our stores, inadequate work force in our markets, temporary disruption in the supply of products whether from self or third-party distribution, delays in the delivery of goods to our stores and a reduction in the availability of products in our stores. Any of these factors may disrupt our business and materially adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Fluctuations in commodity prices and availability may impact profitability.

Many products we sell include ingredients such as wheat, corn, oils, milk, sugar, cocoa, nuts and other key commodities. Many commodity prices are subject to significant fluctuations and may be impacted by tariffs. Any increase in prices of such key ingredients may cause our vendors to seek price increases from us, and price decreases may result in our competitors reducing retail prices on items containing such ingredients. If we are unable to mitigate these fluctuations, our profitability may be impacted either through increased costs to us or lower prices and loss of customers due to competitive conditions, which may impact gross margins, or through reduced revenue as a result of a decline in the number and average size of customer transactions.

A widespread health epidemic or other incidents beyond our control could materially impact our business.

As evidenced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our business could be severely impacted by other widespread regional, national or global health epidemics or other incidents beyond our control such as terrorism, riots, acts of violence and other crimes. Such events may cause customers to avoid public gathering places such as our stores or otherwise change their shopping behaviors. Additionally, these occurrences could adversely impact our business by disrupting production and delivery of products to our stores and by impacting our ability to appropriately staff our stores.

We may require additional capital to fund the expansion of our business, and our inability to obtain such capital could harm our business.

To support our expanding business, we must have sufficient capital to continue to make significant investments in our new and existing stores and advertising. If cash flows from operations are not sufficient, we may need additional equity or debt financing to provide the funds required to expand our business. If such financing is not available on satisfactory terms or at all, we may be unable to expand our business or to develop new business at the rate desired. Debt financing increases expenses, may contain covenants that restrict the operation of our business, and must be repaid regardless of operating results. Equity financing, or debt financing that is convertible into equity, could result in additional dilution to our existing stockholders. Our inability to obtain adequate capital resources, whether in the form of equity or debt, to fund our business and growth strategy may require us to delay, scale back or eliminate some or all of our operations or the expansion of our business, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, financial condition or prospects.

Increasing energy costs, unless offset by more efficient usage or other operational responses, may impact our profitability.

We utilize natural gas, water, sewer and electricity in our stores and our transportation providers use gasoline and diesel in trucks that deliver products to our stores. We may also be required to pay certain adjustments or other amounts pursuant to our supply and delivery contracts in connection with increases in fuel prices. Increases in energy costs, whether driven by increased demand, decreased or disrupted supply, increased environmental regulations or an anticipation of any such events or otherwise, will increase the costs of operating our stores and distribution centers. Our shipping costs also may increase if fuel and freight prices increase. We may not be able to recover these rising costs through increased prices charged to our customers, and any increased prices may exacerbate the risk of customers choosing lower-cost alternatives. In addition, if we are unsuccessful in attempts to protect against these increases in energy costs through long-term energy contracts, improved energy procurement, improved efficiency and other operational improvements, the overall costs of operating our stores will increase, which would impact our profitability, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

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Business and Operating Risks

Our continued growth largely depends on new store openings, and our failure to successfully open new stores could negatively impact our business.

Our continued growth depends, in large part, on our ability to open new stores and to operate those stores successfully. Successful implementation of our long-term growth strategy depends upon a number of factors, including our ability to effectively achieve a level of cash flow or obtain necessary financing to support our expansion; find suitable sites for new store locations; negotiate and execute leases on acceptable terms; secure and manage the inventory necessary for the launch and operation of our new stores; hire, train and retain skilled team members; promote and market new stores; and address competitive merchandising, distribution and other challenges encountered in connection with expansion into new geographic areas and markets. Although we plan to expand our store base primarily through new store openings, we may grow through strategic acquisitions. Our ability to grow through strategic acquisitions will depend upon our ability to identify suitable targets and negotiate acceptable terms and conditions for their acquisition, as well as our ability to obtain financing for such acquisitions, integrate the acquired stores into our existing store base and retain the customers of such stores. If we are ineffective in performing these activities, then our efforts to open and operate new stores may be unsuccessful or unprofitable, and we may be unable to execute our growth strategy.

We opened 22 and 28 stores in fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively, and we currently expect to open approximately 20 new stores in 2021. Beyond 2021, we expect to achieve 10% annual unit growth, including penetration of new markets with a greater concentration of new stores. However, we may not achieve this expected level of new store growth. We may not have the level of cash flow or financing necessary to support our growth strategy. Additionally, our proposed expansion will place increased demands on our operational, managerial and administrative resources. These increased demands could cause us to operate our existing business less effectively, which in turn could cause deterioration in the financial performance of our existing stores. Further, new store openings in markets where we have existing stores may result in reduced sales volumes at our existing stores in those markets. If we experience a decline in performance, we may slow or discontinue store openings, or we may decide to close stores that we are unable to operate in a profitable manner. If we fail to successfully implement our growth strategy, including by opening new stores, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows may be adversely affected.

We may be unable to maintain or increase comparable store sales, which could negatively impact our business and stock price.

We may not be able to achieve or improve the levels of comparable store sales that we have experienced in the past. Our comparable store sales growth could be lower than our historical average for many reasons, including general economic conditions, competition, cycling prior year performance and the other matters discussed in these Risk Factors. These factors may cause our comparable store sales results to be materially lower than in recent periods, which could harm our business and result in a decline in the price of our common stock:

Disruption of significant supplier relationships could negatively affect our business.

KeHE is our primary supplier of dry grocery and frozen food products, accounting for approximately 42% and 40% of our total purchases in fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively. Our current primary contractual relationship with KeHE continues through July 18, 2025 and provides that KeHE will be our primary supplier for all of our stores. Due to this concentration of purchases from a single third-party supplier, the cancellation of our distribution arrangement or the disruption, delay or inability of KeHE to deliver product to our stores in quantities or within service parameters that meet our requirements may materially and adversely affect our operating results while we establish alternative supply chain channels. Another 3% of our total purchases in both fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively, were made through our secondary supplier, UNFI. Our current contractual relationship with UNFI continues through September 30, 2021. There is no assurance UNFI or other distributors will be able to fulfill our needs on favorable terms or at all. In addition, if KeHE, UNFI or any of our other suppliers fail to comply with food safety, labeling or other laws and regulations, or face allegations of non-compliance, their operations may be disrupted. Further, the food distribution and manufacturing industries are dynamic.  Consolidation of distributors or the manufacturers that supply them could reduce our supply options and detrimentally impact the terms under which we purchase products. We may not be able to find replacement suppliers on commercially reasonable terms, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

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Any significant interruption in the operations of our distribution centers or supply chain network could disrupt our ability to deliver our produce and other products in a timely manner.

We self-distribute our produce through five distribution centers located in Arizona, Texas, northern California, southern California and Georgia. We also plan to open a new distribution center in Colorado and Florida in 2021. As we further expand our geographic footprint, we may require additional distribution centers. Any unanticipated or unusual expenses or significant interruption or failure in the operation of our distribution center infrastructure, such as disruptions due to fire, severe weather or other catastrophic events, power outages, labor shortages or disagreements, shipping or infrastructure problems, food safety concerns, integration of new distribution centers into our supply chain network, inability of our new distribution centers to perform as expected or contractual disputes with third-party service providers could result in increased expenses and adversely impact our ability to distribute produce and other products to our stores. Such interruptions could result in lost sales and a loss of customer loyalty to our brand, as well as increased costs from third-party service providers. While we maintain business interruption and property insurance, if the operation of our distribution centers or transportation network were interrupted for any reason, causing delays in shipment of produce to our stores, our insurance may not be sufficient to cover losses we experience, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In addition, unexpected delays in deliveries from vendors that ship directly to our stores or increases in transportation costs (including through increased fuel costs) could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Labor shortages, work stoppages or wage increases in the transportation or other industries, long-term disruptions to the national and international transportation infrastructure, reduction in capacity and industry-specific regulations such as hours-of-service rules that lead to delays or interruptions of deliveries or increased costs could negatively affect our business.

Disruptions to, security breaches or non-compliance involving, our information technology systems could harm our ability to run our business and expose us to potential liability and loss of revenues.

We rely extensively on information technology systems for point-of-sale processing in our stores, supply chain, financial reporting, human resources and various other processes and transactions. Our information technology systems are subject to damage or interruption from power outages, computer and telecommunications failures, computer viruses, security breaches, including breaches of our transaction processing or other systems that could result in the compromise of confidential customer or team member data, catastrophic events, and usage errors by our team members. We have implemented numerous security protocols in order to strengthen security, and we maintain a customary cyber insurance policy, but there can be no assurance breaches will not occur in the future, be detected in a timely manner or be covered by our insurance policy. Significant expenditures could be required to remedy future cybersecurity problems and protect against future breaches. Additionally, compliance with current and future applicable U.S. privacy, cybersecurity and related laws, including for example the California Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) and the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), can be costly and time-consuming. These costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, and our efforts may not meaningfully limit the success of future attempts to breach our information technology systems.

Our information technology systems may also fail to perform as we anticipate, and we may encounter difficulties or significant expenses in implementing new systems, adapting these systems to changing technologies or legal requirements or expanding them to meet the future needs and growth of our business. If our systems are improperly implemented, breached, damaged, cease to function properly, or are perceived to have failed, we may have to make significant investments to fix or replace them; suffer interruptions in our operations; experience data loss; incur liability to our customers, team members and others; face costly litigation, enforcement actions and penalties; and our brand and reputation with our customers may be harmed. Various third parties, such as our suppliers and payment processors, also rely heavily on information technology systems, and any failure of these systems could also cause loss of sales, transactional or other data and significant interruptions to our business. Any security breach or other material interruption in the information technology systems we rely on may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

 

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Real or perceived concerns that products we sell could cause unexpected side effects, illness, injury or death could result in their discontinuance or expose us to lawsuits, either of which could result in unexpected costs and damage to our reputation.

There is increasing governmental scrutiny of and public awareness regarding food safety. Unexpected side effects, illness, injury, or death caused by products we prepare and/or sell or involving vendors that provide us with products or services could result in the discontinuance of sales of these products or our relationship with such vendors or prevent us from achieving market acceptance of the affected products. Such side effects, illnesses, injuries and death could also expose us to severe damage to our reputation, product liability or negligence lawsuits or government enforcement actions. Any claims brought against us may exceed our existing or future insurance policy coverage or limits. Any judgment against us that is in excess of our policy limits would have to be paid from our cash reserves, which would reduce our capital resources. Further, we may not have sufficient capital resources to pay a judgment, in which case our creditors could levy against our assets.

As a fresh, natural and organic retailer, we believe that many customers choose to shop our stores because of their interest in health, nutrition and food safety. As a result, we believe that our customers hold us to a high food safety standard. Therefore, real or perceived quality or food safety concerns, whether or not ultimately based on fact, and whether or not involving products prepared and/or sold at our stores or vendors that supply us with products or provide us with services, would cause negative publicity and lost confidence regarding our company, brand, or products, which could in turn harm our reputation and net sales, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

If we are unable to successfully identify market trends and react to changing consumer preferences in a timely manner, our sales may decrease.

We believe our success depends, in substantial part, on our ability to:

 

anticipate, identify and react to fresh, natural and organic grocery and dietary supplement trends and changing consumer preferences and demographics in a timely manner;

 

translate market trends into appropriate, saleable product and service offerings in our stores before our competitors; and

 

develop and maintain vendor and service provider relationships that provide us access to the newest on-trend merchandise and customer engagement options on reasonable terms.

Consumer preferences often change rapidly and without warning, moving from one trend to another among many product or retail concepts. Our performance is impacted by trends regarding healthy lifestyles, product attributes, dietary preferences, convenient options, natural and organic products, meal solutions, ingredient transparency and sustainability, and vitamins and supplements, as well as new and evolving methods of engaging with and delivering our products to our customers. Consumer preferences towards vitamins, supplements or natural and organic food products might shift as a result of, among other things, economic conditions, food safety perceptions, scientific research or findings regarding the benefits or efficacy of such products, national media attention and the cost or sustainability of these products. Our store offerings currently include natural and organic products and dietary supplements. A change in consumer preferences away from our offerings would have a material adverse effect on our business. Additionally, negative publicity over the safety, efficacy or benefits of any such items may adversely affect demand for our products, and could result in lower customer traffic, sales, results of operations and cash flows.

If we are unable to anticipate and satisfy consumer preferences with respect to product offerings and customer engagement options, our sales may decrease, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our newly opened stores may negatively impact our financial results in the short-term, and may not achieve sales and operating levels consistent with our more mature stores on a timely basis or at all.

We have actively pursued new store growth and plan to continue doing so in the future. Our new store openings may not be as successful or reach the sales and profitability levels of our existing stores. New store openings may negatively impact our financial results in the short-term due to the effect of store

 

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opening costs and lower sales and contribution to overall profitability during the initial period following opening. New stores build their sales volume and their customer base over time and, as a result, generally have lower margins and higher operating expenses, as a percentage of net sales, than our more mature stores. New stores may not achieve sustained sales and operating levels consistent with our more mature store base on a timely basis or at all. This may have an adverse effect on our financial condition and operating results. Further, we have experienced in the past, and expect to experience in the future, some sales volume transfer from our existing stores to our new stores as some of our existing customers switch to new, closer locations. If our new stores are less profitable than our existing stores, or if we experience sales volume transfer from our existing stores, our financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected.

On many of our projects, we have received landlord contributions for leasehold improvements and other build-out costs. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to continue to receive landlord contributions at the same levels or at all. Any reductions of landlord contributions could have an adverse impact on our new store cash-on-cash returns and our operating results.

We may be unable to maintain or improve our operating margins, which could adversely affect our financial condition and ability to grow.

If we are unable to successfully manage the potential difficulties associated with store growth, we may not be able to capture the efficiencies of scale that we expect from expansion. If we are not able to capture efficiencies of scale, improve our systems, sustain cost discipline, optimize promotional activity and maintain appropriate store labor levels and disciplined product selection, our customer traffic and operating margins may stagnate or decline. In addition, competition and pricing pressures from competitors may also adversely impact our operating margins. Both our inability to capture the efficiencies from scale and competition could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and adversely affect the price of our common stock.

If we fail to maintain our reputation and the value of our brand, our sales may decline.

We believe our continued success depends on our ability to maintain and grow the value of the Sprouts brand. Maintaining, promoting and positioning our brand and reputation will depend largely on the success of our marketing and merchandising efforts and our ability to provide a consistent, high-quality customer experience. Brand value is based in large part on perceptions of subjective qualities, and even isolated incidents involving our company, our team members, suppliers, agents or third-party service providers, or the products we sell can erode trust and confidence, particularly if they involve our private label products, or result in adverse publicity, governmental investigations or litigation. Our brand could be adversely affected if we fail to achieve these objectives, or if our public image or reputation were to be tarnished by negative publicity.

The loss of key management could negatively affect our business.

We are dependent upon a number of key management and other team members. If we were to lose the services of a key member of our management team or a significant number of key team members within a short period of time, this could have a material adverse effect on our operations as we may not be able to find suitable individuals to replace them on a timely basis, if at all. In addition, any such departure could be viewed in a negative light by investors and analysts, which may cause our stock price to decline. We do not maintain key person insurance on any team member.

If we are unable to attract, train and retain team members, we may not be able to grow or successfully operate our business.

The food retail industry is labor intensive. Our continued success is dependent upon our ability to attract and retain qualified team members in our stores and at our regional and store support offices who understand and appreciate our culture and are able to represent our brand effectively and establish credibility with our business partners and consumers. We face intense competition for qualified team members, many of whom are subject to offers from competing employers. Our ability to meet our labor needs, while controlling wage and labor-related costs, is subject to numerous external factors, including the availability of a sufficient number of qualified persons in the work force in the markets in which we are located, unemployment levels within those markets, unionization of the available work force, prevailing

 

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wage rates, changing demographics, health and other insurance costs and changes in employment legislation. In the event of increasing wage rates, if we fail to increase our wages competitively, the quality of our workforce could decline, causing our customer engagement to suffer, while increasing our wages could cause our earnings to decrease. If we are unable to hire and retain team members capable of meeting our business needs and expectations, our business and brand image may be impaired. Any failure to meet our staffing needs or any material increase in turnover rates of our team members or team member wages may adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

Union attempts to organize our team members could negatively affect our business.

None of our team members are currently subject to a collective bargaining agreement. As we continue to grow and enter different regions, unions may attempt to organize all or part of our team member base at certain stores or within certain regions. Responding to such organization attempts may distract management and team members and may have a negative financial impact on individual stores, or on our business as a whole.

Higher wage and benefit costs could adversely affect our business.

Changes in federal and state minimum wage laws and other laws relating to employee compensation and benefits could cause us to incur additional wage and benefit costs, as well as increased contractual costs associated with our service providers. Increased labor costs brought about by changes in minimum wage laws, other regulations or prevailing market conditions would increase our expenses and have an adverse impact on our profitability.

Our lease obligations could adversely affect our financial performance and may require us to continue paying rent for store locations that we no longer operate.

We are subject to risks associated with our current and future store, distribution center and administrative office real estate leases. Our high level of fixed lease obligations will require us to use a portion of cash generated by our operations to satisfy these obligations, and could adversely impact our ability to obtain future financing, if required, to support our growth or other operational investments. We will require substantial cash flows from operations to make our payments under our operating leases, all of which provide for periodic increases in rent. If we are not able to make the required payments under the leases, the lenders or owners of the relevant stores, distribution centers or administrative offices may, among other things, repossess those assets, which could adversely affect our ability to conduct our operations. In addition, our failure to make payments under our operating leases could trigger defaults under other leases or under agreements governing our indebtedness, which could cause the counterparties under those agreements to accelerate the obligations due thereunder.

Further, we generally cannot cancel our leases, so if we decide to close or relocate a location, we may nonetheless be committed to perform our obligations under the applicable lease, including paying the base rent for the remaining lease term. In addition, as our leases expire, we may fail to negotiate renewals, either on commercially acceptable terms or any terms at all, which could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

Claims under our insurance plans may differ from our estimates, which could materially impact our results of operations.

We use a combination of insurance and self-insurance plans to provide for the potential liabilities for workers’ compensation, general liability (including, in connection with legal proceedings described under “—Legal proceedings could materially impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows” below), property insurance, director and officers’ liability insurance, vehicle liability and team member health-care benefits. Liabilities associated with the risks that are retained by us are estimated, in part, by considering historical claims experience, demographic factors, severity factors and other actuarial assumptions. Our results could be materially impacted by claims and other expenses related to such plans if future occurrences and claims differ from these assumptions and historical trends.

 

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We may be unable to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our debt service obligations, which could adversely impact our business.

As of January 3, 2021, we had outstanding indebtedness of $250.0 million under our credit agreement (referred to as the “Amended and Restated Credit Agreement”). We may incur additional indebtedness in the future, including borrowings under our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement. Our indebtedness, any additional indebtedness we may incur, or any hedging arrangements related to such indebtedness could require us to divert funds identified for other purposes for debt service and impair our liquidity position. If we cannot generate sufficient cash flow from operations to service our debt, we may need to refinance our debt, dispose of assets or issue equity to obtain necessary funds. We do not know whether we will be able to take any of such actions on a timely basis, on terms satisfactory to us or at all.

Covenants in our debt agreements restrict our operational flexibility.

Our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement contains usual and customary restrictive covenants relating to our management and the operation of our business, including incurring additional indebtedness; making certain investments; merging, dissolving, liquidating, consolidating, or disposing of all or substantially all of our assets; paying dividends, making distributions, or redeeming capital stock; entering into transactions with our affiliates; and granting liens on our assets.

Our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement also requires us to maintain a specified total net leverage ratio and minimum interest coverage ratio at the end of any fiscal quarter at any time the facility is drawn. Our ability to meet these ratios, if applicable, could be affected by events beyond our control. Failure to comply with any of the covenants under our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement could result in a default under the facility, which could cause our lenders to accelerate the timing of payments and exercise their lien on substantially all of our assets, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

Financial Reporting, Legal and Other Regulatory Risks

We, as well as our vendors, are subject to numerous laws and regulations and our compliance with these laws and regulations may increase our costs, limit or eliminate our ability to sell certain products, raise regulatory enforcement risks not present in the past, or otherwise adversely affect our business, reputation, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

Enforcement. Both FDA and USDA have broad authority to enforce their applicable provisions relating to the safety, labeling, manufacturing, distribution and promotion of foods and dietary supplements, including powers to issue a public warning letter to a company, publicize information about illegal products, institute an administrative detention of food, request or order a recall of food from the market, and request the Department of Justice to initiate a seizure action, an injunction action or a criminal prosecution.

Dietary Supplement Risks. As a retailer of dietary supplements our sales of dietary supplements are regulated by FDA. However, other public and private actors are increasingly targeting dietary supplement retailers and manufacturers for selling products that fail to adhere to requirements under FDCA, as amended by DSHEA. While FDCA provides FDA with the authority to remove products from the market that are adulterated or misbranded, state actors, and the Plaintiffs’ Bar have been targeting retailers and manufacturers of dietary supplements for failing to adhere to current good manufacturing practices and for false or misleading product statements.

 

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Advertising and Product Claims Risks. In connection with the marketing and advertisement of products we sell, we could be the target of claims relating to false or deceptive advertising, including under the auspices of the FTC and the consumer protection statutes of some states. Furthermore, in recent years, the FDA has been aggressive in enforcing its regulations with respect to nutrient content claims (e.g., “low fat,” “good source of,” “calorie free,” etc.), unauthorized “health claims” (claims that characterize the relationship between a food or food ingredient and a disease or health condition), and other claims that impermissibly suggest therapeutic benefits for certain foods or food components. These events could interrupt the marketing and sales of products in our stores, including our private label products, severely damage our brand reputation and public image, increase the cost of products in our stores, result in product recalls or costly litigation, and impede our ability to deliver merchandise in sufficient quantities or quality to our stores, which could result in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our reputation could also suffer from real or perceived issues involving the labeling or marketing of products we sell as “natural.” Although the FDA and the USDA have each issued statements regarding the appropriate use of the word “natural,” and the FDA has requests for comment now pending on the issue, there is no single, U.S. government-regulated definition of the term “natural” for use in the food industry. The resulting uncertainty has led to consumer confusion, distrust and legal challenges. Plaintiffs have commenced legal actions against a number of food companies and retailers that market “natural” or similarly labeled products, asserting false, misleading and deceptive advertising and labeling claims, including claims related to genetically modified ingredients. Should we become subject to similar claims, consumers may avoid purchasing products from us or seek alternatives, even if the basis for the claim is unfounded. Adverse publicity about these matters may discourage consumers from buying our products. The cost of defending against any such claims could be significant. Any loss of confidence on the part of consumers in the truthfulness of our labeling or ingredient claims would be difficult and costly to overcome and may significantly reduce our brand value. Any of these events could adversely affect our reputation and brand and decrease our sales, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Organic and GMO Claims. We are also subject to the USDA’s Organic Rule, which facilitates interstate commerce and the marketing of organically produced food, and provides assurance to our customers that such products meet consistent, uniform standards. Compliance with the USDA’s Organic Rule also places a significant burden on some of our suppliers, which may cause a disruption in some of our product offerings. Additionally, the USDA has promulgated regulations that require disclosure of whether food offered for sale contains bioengineered (GMO) ingredients. Implementation began in January 2020.

FSMA Implementation Costs. FSMA directed an historic shift at FDA from the Agency reacting to and solving problems in the food supply chain to preventing contamination of food before it occurs. FSMA accomplished this goal by overhauling FDA’s current food safety program by requiring all actors in the food supply chain to expand their safety programs and record keeping processes. FSMA’s continued implementation and FDA’s own development in understanding effective ways to enforce FSMA provisions could delay the supply of certain products or result in certain products being unavailable to us for sale in our stores.

Third-Party Risks. As is common in our industry, we rely on our suppliers and contract manufacturers to ensure that the products they manufacture and sell to us comply with all applicable regulatory and legislative requirements. In general, we seek representations and warranties, indemnification and/or insurance from our suppliers and contract manufacturers. However, even with adequate insurance and indemnification, any claims of non-compliance could significantly damage our reputation and consumer confidence in products we sell. In addition, the failure of such products to comply with applicable regulatory and legislative requirements could prevent us from marketing the products or require us to recall or remove such products from our stores. In order to comply with applicable statutes and regulations, our suppliers and contract manufacturers have from time to time reformulated, eliminated or relabeled certain of their products and we have revised certain provisions of our sales and marketing program.

 

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We are also subject to laws and regulations more generally applicable to retailers. Compliance with or changes to such laws and regulations may increase our costs, limit or eliminate our ability to sell certain products or otherwise adversely affect our business, reputation, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.

We are subject to laws and regulations more generally applicable to retailers, including labor and employment, taxation, zoning and land use, environmental protection, workplace safety, public health, community right-to-know, consumer protection and alcoholic beverage sales. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are subject to additional governmental regulations and health guidelines, as well as other voluntary safety protocols. Our stores are subject to unscheduled inspections on a regular basis, which, if violations are found, could result in the assessment of fines, suspension of one or more needed licenses and, in the case of repeated “critical” violations, closure of the store until a re-inspection demonstrates that we have remediated the problem. Further, our new store openings could be delayed or prevented, or our existing stores could be impacted by difficulties or failures in our ability to obtain or maintain required approvals or licenses. In addition, we are subject to environmental laws pursuant to which we could be held responsible for all of the costs or liabilities relating to any contamination at our or our predecessors’ past or present facilities and at third-party waste disposal sites, regardless of our knowledge of, or responsibility for, such contamination, and such costs may exceed our environmental liability insurance coverage.

As is common in our industry, we rely on our suppliers and contract manufacturers to ensure that the products they manufacture and sell to us comply with all applicable regulatory and legislative requirements. In general, we seek representations and warranties, indemnification and/or insurance from our suppliers and contract manufacturers. However, even with adequate insurance and indemnification, any claims of non-compliance could significantly damage our reputation and consumer confidence in our products. In order to comply with applicable statutes and regulations, our suppliers and contract manufacturers have from time to time reformulated, eliminated or relabeled certain of their products and we have revised certain provisions of our sales and marketing program.

We cannot predict the nature of future laws, regulations, interpretations or applications, or determine what effect either additional government regulations or executive or administrative orders, when and if promulgated, or disparate federal, state and local regulatory schemes would have on our business in the future. They could, however, increase our costs; result in our unintended misinterpretation or noncompliance; expose us to litigation; require the reformulation of certain products or alternative sourcing from domestic suppliers or otherwise to meet new standards, regulations or trade restrictions; require the recall or discontinuance of certain products not able to be reformulated or alternatively sourced in compliance with new regulations or restrictions; impose additional recordkeeping; expand documentation of the properties of certain products; necessitate expanded or different labeling and/or scientific substantiation; or require us to discontinue certain operations. Any or all of such requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Legal proceedings could materially impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our operations, which are characterized by a high volume of customer traffic and data collection and by transactions involving a wide variety of product selections, carry a higher exposure to consumer litigation risk when compared to the operations of companies operating in some other industries. Consequently, we may be a party to individual personal injury, product liability, intellectual property, data privacy and other legal actions in the ordinary course of our business, including litigation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, food-related illness or product labeling. In addition, our team members may, from time to time, bring lawsuits against us regarding injury, hostile work environment, discrimination, wage and hour disputes, sexual harassment, or other employment issues. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of discrimination and harassment claims across the United States generally. The outcome of litigation, particularly class action lawsuits, is difficult to assess or quantify. Plaintiffs in these types of lawsuits may seek recovery of very large or indeterminate amounts, and the magnitude of the potential loss relating to such lawsuits may remain unknown for substantial periods of time. While we maintain insurance, insurance coverage may not be adequate, and the cost to defend against future litigation may be significant. There may also be adverse publicity associated with litigation that may decrease consumer confidence in or perceptions of our business, regardless of whether the allegations are valid or whether we are ultimately found liable. As a result, litigation may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

25


 

We may be unable to adequately protect our intellectual property rights, which could harm our business.

We rely on a combination of trademark, trade secret, copyright and domain name law and internal procedures and nondisclosure agreements to protect our intellectual property. In particular, we believe our trademarks, including SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET® and SPROUTS®, and our domain names, including sprouts.com, are valuable assets. However, there can be no assurance that our intellectual property rights will be sufficient to distinguish our products and services from those of our competitors and to provide us with a competitive advantage. From time to time, third parties may use names and logos similar to ours, may apply to register trademarks or domain names similar to ours, and may infringe or otherwise violate our intellectual property rights. There can be no assurance that our intellectual property rights can be successfully asserted against such third parties or will not be invalidated, circumvented or challenged. Asserting or defending our intellectual property rights could be time consuming and costly and could distract management’s attention and resources. If we are unable to prevent our competitors from using names, logos and domain names similar to ours, consumer confusion could result, the perception of our brand and products could be negatively affected, and our sales and profitability could suffer as a result. We also license the SPROUTS FARMERS MARKETS trademark to a third party for use in operating two grocery stores. If the licensee fails to maintain the quality of the goods and services used in connection with this trademark, our rights to, and the value of, this and similar trademarks could potentially be harmed. Negative publicity relating to the licensee could also be incorrectly associated with us, which could harm the business. Failure to protect our proprietary information could also have a material adverse effect on our business.

We may also be subject to claims that our intellectual property, activities or the products we sell infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate the intellectual property rights of others. Any such claims can be time consuming and costly to defend and may distract management’s attention and resources, even if the claims are without merit. Such claims may also require us to enter into costly settlement or license agreements (which could, for example, prevent us from using our trademarks in certain geographies or in connection with certain products and services), pay costly damage awards, and face a temporary or permanent injunction prohibiting us from marketing or providing the affected products and services, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Changes in accounting standards may materially impact reporting of our financial condition and results of operations.

Accounting principles generally accepted in the United States and related accounting pronouncements, implementation guidelines, and interpretations for many aspects of our business, such as accounting for leases, inventories, goodwill and intangible assets, store closures, insurance, income taxes, share-based compensation and accounting for mergers and acquisitions and other special items, are complex and involve subjective judgments. Changes in these rules or their interpretation may necessitate changes to our financial statement presentation and significantly change or add significant volatility to our reported earnings without a comparable underlying change in cash flow from operations. As a result, changes in accounting standards may materially impact our reported financial condition and results of operations. For example, our adoption of ASC 842, Leases, effective in fiscal 2019 impacted our financial statement presentation and financial results.

If we are unable to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting in the future, we may fail to prevent or detect material misstatements in our financial statements, in which case investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports and the market price of our common stock may decline.

As a public company, we are required to maintain internal control over financial reporting. If we are unable to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, if we identify any material weaknesses therein, if we are unsuccessful in our efforts to remediate any such material weakness, if our management is unable to report that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an opinion as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports and the market price of our common stock could be negatively

 

26


 

affected. In addition, we could become subject to investigations by the NASDAQ Stock Market, the SEC, or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources.

If our goodwill or other intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings.

We have a significant amount of goodwill and other intangible assets. As of January 3, 2021, we had goodwill and intangible assets of approximately $368.9 million and $185.0 million, respectively, which represented approximately 13% and 7% of our total assets as of such date, respectively. Goodwill is reviewed for impairment on an annual basis in the fourth fiscal quarter or whenever events occur or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of our reporting unit below its carrying amount. Fair value is determined based on the discounted cash flows and the market value of our single reporting unit. If the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying value, the fair value of the implied goodwill is calculated as the difference between the fair value of our reporting unit and the fair value of the underlying assets and liabilities, excluding goodwill. In the event an impairment to goodwill is identified, an immediate charge to earnings in an amount equal to the excess of the carrying value over the implied fair value would be recorded, which would adversely affect our operating results.

Our nutrition-oriented educational activities may be impacted by government regulation or our inability to secure adequate liability insurance.

We provide nutrition-oriented education to our customers, and these activities may be subject to state and federal regulation and oversight by professional organizations or misconstrued by our customers as medical advice. In the past, the FDA has expressed concerns regarding summarized health and nutrition-related information that (i) does not, in the FDA’s view, accurately present such information, (ii) diverts a consumer’s attention and focus from FDA-required nutrition labeling and information or (iii) impermissibly promotes drug-type disease-related benefits. If our team members or third parties we engage to provide this information do not act in accordance with regulatory requirements, we may become subject to penalties or litigation that could have a material adverse effect on our business. We believe we are currently in compliance with relevant regulatory requirements. However, we cannot predict the nature of future government regulation and oversight, including the potential impact of any such regulation on this activity. Furthermore, the availability of professional liability insurance or the scope of such coverage may change, or our insurance coverage may prove inadequate, which may adversely impact the ability of our customer educators to provide some information to our customers. The occurrence of any such developments could negatively impact the perception of our brand, our sales and our ability to attract new customers.

Common Stock Ownership Risks

Our stock price may be volatile, and you may not be able to resell your shares at or above the price you paid for them or at all.

There is no guarantee that our common stock will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which our stockholders have purchased their shares. The trading price of our common stock may be volatile and subject to wide price fluctuations in response to various factors, many of which are beyond our control. Furthermore, the stock markets have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies. These fluctuations often have been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. These and other factors may cause the market price and demand for our common stock to fluctuate substantially, which may limit or prevent investors from readily selling their shares of common stock and may otherwise negatively affect the price or liquidity of our common stock. In addition, in the past, when the market price of a stock has been volatile, holders of that stock have sometimes instituted securities class action litigation against the company that issued the stock. If any of our stockholders were to bring a lawsuit against us, we could incur substantial costs defending the lawsuit or paying for settlements or damages. Such a lawsuit could also divert the time and attention of our management from our business.  

 

27


 

Anti-takeover provisions could impair a takeover attempt and adversely affect existing stockholders.

Certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and applicable provisions of Delaware law may have the effect of rendering more difficult, delaying, or preventing an acquisition of our company, even when this would be in the best interest of our stockholders. These include, without limitation, the following provisions:

 

a classified board of directors (referred to as the “Board”) whose members serve staggered three-year terms;

 

“blank check” preferred stock, which could be issued by the board without stockholder approval and may contain voting, liquidation, dividend, and other rights superior to our common stock;

 

inability of our stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders, which may delay the ability of our stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or the ability of holders controlling a majority of our capital stock to take any action, including the removal of directors; and

 

required advance notice of stockholder proposals for business to be conducted at meetings of our stockholders and for nominations of candidates for election to the board.

Any provision of our certificate of incorporation or bylaws or Delaware law that has the effect of delaying or deterring a change in control could limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of our common stock, and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our common stock.

If securities or industry analysts cease publishing research or reports about us, our business, or our market, or if they adversely change their recommendations regarding our stock, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock is influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts may publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. If we do not maintain adequate research coverage, or if any of the analysts who may cover us downgrade our stock or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business or provide relatively more favorable recommendations about our competitors, our stock price could decline. If any analyst who may cover us were to cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.

Since we do not expect to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future, investors may be forced to sell their stock in order to obtain a return on their investment.

We do not anticipate declaring or paying in the foreseeable future any cash dividends on our capital stock. Instead, we plan to retain any earnings to finance our operations and growth plans. In addition, our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement contains covenants that would restrict our ability to pay cash dividends. Accordingly, investors must rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any return on their investment. As a result, investors seeking cash dividends should not purchase our common stock.

Our business could be impacted as a result of actions by activist stockholders or others.

We may be subject, from time to time, to legal and business challenges in the operation of our company due to actions instituted by activist shareholders or others. Responding to such actions, which may include private engagement, publicity campaigns, proxy contests, efforts to force transactions not supported by our Board, and litigation, could be costly and time-consuming, may not align with our strategic plan and could divert the time and attention of our Board and management from our business. Perceived uncertainties as to our future direction as a result of stockholder activism may lead to the perception of a change in the direction of the business or other instability and may affect our stock price, relationships with vendors, customers, prospective and current team members and others.

 

28


 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

 

 

Item 2.

Properties

We seek to select sites for our store locations in markets with growth potential where our target customers and supply chain capabilities intersect. As of January 3, 2021, we had 362 stores located in twenty-three states, as shown in the chart below:

 

State

 

Number of Stores

 

 

State

 

Number of Stores

 

Alabama

 

 

3

 

 

New Jersey

 

 

1

 

Arizona

 

 

42

 

 

New Mexico

 

 

9

 

California

 

 

126

 

 

North Carolina

 

 

5

 

Colorado

 

 

32

 

 

Oklahoma

 

 

11

 

Delaware

 

 

1

 

 

Pennsylvania

 

 

2

 

Florida

 

 

23

 

 

South Carolina

 

 

1

 

Georgia

 

 

16

 

 

Tennessee

 

 

6

 

Kansas

 

 

5

 

 

Texas

 

 

47

 

Louisiana

 

 

1

 

 

Utah

 

 

5

 

Maryland

 

 

5

 

 

Virginia

 

 

1

 

Missouri

 

 

3

 

 

Washington

 

 

4

 

Nevada

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In fiscal 2019, we opened 28 new stores and closed one underperforming store. In fiscal 2020, we opened 22 new stores.

We lease all of our stores from unaffiliated third parties. A typical store lease is for an initial 10 to 15 year term with three or four renewal options of five years each. We expect that we will be able to renegotiate these leases or relocate these stores as necessary. In addition to new store openings, we remodel or relocate stores periodically in order to improve performance. See “Business – New Store Development” for additional information with respect to our store site selection process.

As of January 3, 2021, we utilized five distribution centers. Information about such facilities, as well as our current corporate office in Phoenix, Arizona, is set forth in the table below:

 

 Facility

 

State

 

Square Footage*

 

Corporate Office

 

Arizona

 

 

96,000

 

Distribution Center

 

Arizona

 

 

129,000

 

Distribution Center

 

California

 

 

123,000

 

Distribution Center

 

California

 

 

110,000

 

Distribution Center

 

Georgia

 

 

100,000

 

Distribution Center

 

Texas

 

 

117,000

 

 

*

Rounded to the nearest 1,000 square feet

We lease our corporate office and our distribution centers in Arizona and Texas from unaffiliated third parties; our remaining three distribution centers are leased or owned by our third-party logistics providers. We expect to open a new distribution center in Colorado and Florida in 2021. See “Business – Sourcing and Distribution” for additional information with respect to our distribution centers.

We believe our portfolio of long-term leases is a valuable asset supporting our retail operations, but we do not believe that any individual store property or distribution center is material to our financial condition or results of operations.

 

29


 

Item 3.

From time to time we are a party to legal proceedings, including matters involving personnel and employment issues, product liability, personal injury, intellectual property and other proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business, which have not resulted in any material losses to date. Although our management does not expect that the outcome in these proceedings will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations, litigation is inherently unpredictable. Therefore, we could incur judgments or enter into settlements of claims that could materially impact our results.

See Note 19, “Commitments and Contingencies” to our Consolidated Financial Statements for information regarding certain legal proceedings in which we are involved.

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

 

 

30


 

PART II

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SFM” on August 1, 2013. The number of stockholders of record of our common stock as of February 23, 2021 was 28. This number excludes stockholders whose stock is held in nominee or street name by brokers.

Dividend Policy

Since we became a publicly traded company on August 1, 2013, we have not declared or paid, and do not anticipate declaring or paying in the foreseeable future, any cash dividends on our capital stock. Any future determination as to the declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on then existing conditions, including our operating results, financial condition, contractual restrictions, capital requirements, business prospects, and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant. Our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement contains covenants that would restrict our ability to pay cash dividends.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

There was no share repurchase activity during the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020 ended January 3, 2021.

 

 

31


 

 

Performance Graph

The graph set forth below compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock between January 3, 2016 and January 3, 2021, with the cumulative total return of (i) the Nasdaq Composite Index and (ii) the S&P Food Retail Index, over the same period.

The comparison assumes that $100.00 was invested in our common stock, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P Food Retail Index, and assumes reinvestment of dividends, if any. The graph assumes the initial value of our common stock on January 3, 2016 was the closing sale price on that day of $26.59 per share. The performance shown on the graph below is based on historical results and is not intended to suggest future performance.

 

 

This performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.

 

 

 

32


 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

 

Set out below is selected financial data for and as of the end of fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2020.  See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Components of Operating Results” and Note 3, “Significant Accounting Policies”, to our Consolidated Financial Statements for more information.

 

 

 

Fiscal

2020(2)

 

 

Fiscal

2019(1)

 

 

Fiscal

2018(1)

 

 

Fiscal

2017(1)

 

 

Fiscal

2016(1)

 

 

 

(dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 

Statements of Income Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

6,468,759

 

 

$

5,634,835

 

 

$

5,207,336

 

 

$

4,664,612

 

 

$

4,046,385

 

Cost of sales

 

 

4,089,470

 

 

 

3,740,017

 

 

 

3,459,861

 

 

 

3,097,582

 

 

 

2,682,937

 

Gross profit

 

 

2,379,289

 

 

 

1,894,818

 

 

 

1,747,475

 

 

 

1,567,030

 

 

 

1,363,448

 

Selling, general and administrative

   expenses

 

 

1,863,869

 

 

 

1,549,707

 

 

 

1,404,443

 

 

 

1,245,640

 

 

 

1,071,995

 

Depreciation and amortization (exclusive

   of depreciation included in

   cost of sales)

 

 

124,124

 

 

 

120,491

 

 

 

108,045

 

 

 

94,194

 

 

 

78,293

 

Store closure and other costs, net(3)

 

 

(369

)

 

 

7,260

 

 

 

12,076

 

 

 

1,126

 

 

 

228

 

Income from operations

 

 

391,665

 

 

 

217,360

 

 

 

222,911

 

 

 

226,070

 

 

 

212,932

 

Interest expense, net

 

 

14,787

 

 

 

21,192

 

 

 

27,435

 

 

 

21,177

 

 

 

14,794

 

Other income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

320

 

 

 

625

 

 

 

454

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

376,878

 

 

 

196,168

 

 

 

195,796

 

 

 

205,518

 

 

 

198,592

 

Income tax provision(4)

 

 

89,428

 

 

 

46,539

 

 

 

37,260

 

 

 

47,078

 

 

 

74,286

 

Net income

 

$

287,450

 

 

$

149,629

 

 

$

158,536

 

 

$

158,440

 

 

$

124,306

 

Per Share Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share—basic

 

$

2.44

 

 

$

1.25

 

 

$

1.23

 

 

$

1.17

 

 

$

0.84

 

Net income per share—diluted

 

$

2.43

 

 

$

1.25

 

 

$

1.22

 

 

$

1.15

 

 

$

0.83

 

Weighted average shares outstanding—

   basic

 

 

117,821

 

 

 

119,368

 

 

 

128,827

 

 

 

135,169

 

 

 

147,311

 

Weighted average shares outstanding—

   diluted

 

 

118,224

 

 

 

119,742

 

 

 

129,776

 

 

 

137,884

 

 

 

149,653

 

 

 

 

As of

 

 

 

Fiscal

2020(2)

 

 

Fiscal

2019(1)

 

 

Fiscal

2018(1)

 

 

Fiscal

2017(1)

 

 

Fiscal

2016(1)

 

Balance Sheet Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets (5)

 

$

2,806,404

 

 

$

2,722,983

 

 

$

1,675,614

 

 

$

1,581,603

 

 

$

1,439,893

 

Long-term obligations, including capital, financing and finance lease obligations (6)

 

 

260,459

 

 

 

549,419

 

 

 

572,642

 

 

 

473,489

 

 

 

372,366

 

Total stockholders’ equity

 

 

881,293

 

 

 

581,952

 

 

 

589,196

 

 

 

650,694

 

 

 

672,909

 

 

33


 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal

2020(2)

 

 

Fiscal

2019(1)

 

 

Fiscal

2018(1)

 

 

Fiscal

2017(1)

 

 

Fiscal

2016(1)

 

Comparable store sales growth

 

 

6.9

%

 

 

1.1

%

 

 

2.1

%

 

 

2.9

%

 

 

2.7

%

Stores at end of period

 

 

362

 

 

 

340

 

 

 

313

 

 

 

285

 

 

 

253

 

Other Operating Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stores at beginning of period

 

 

340

 

 

 

313

 

 

 

285

 

 

 

253

 

 

 

217

 

Opened(7)

 

 

22

 

 

 

28

 

 

 

30

 

 

 

32

 

 

 

36

 

Closed

 

 

 

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(2

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stores at end of period

 

 

362

 

 

 

340

 

 

 

313

 

 

 

285

 

 

 

253