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Sprouts Farmers (SFM) Boosts Customer Experience Via EBT SNAP

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Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (SFM - Free Report) is undertaking several initiatives focused on product innovation, customer experience and technology. In a latest move, SFM has announced that it has started accepting Electronic Benefits Transfer Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) for same-day delivery and curbside pickup for orders through the Instacart website and mobile app. This facility is available at nearly 380 stores across the country.

EBT SNAP acceptance on Instacart is powered by Carrot Payments, which is part of the Instacart Platform. To avail same-day grocery delivery or pickup online, consumers have to create a profile via Instacart’s website or mobile app, and can then enter their EBT food card information as part of the payment in their profile. They will also need a secondary form of payment for non-food items like taxes, tips and fees per the federal SNAP guidelines.

EBT SNAP will be available on later in 2022. Sprouts Farmers, in collaboration with Instacart, will serve the mission of providing fresh food to the guests. Via this latest launch, customers can avail fresh, natural and organic food online conveniently. SFM is steadily expanding its presence in the organic space, given the huge demand in this segment. The company has been providing hassle-free shopping through website and its mobile app.

What Else?

Sprouts Farmers has been undertaking initiatives to boost customer experience. SFM has rolled out grocery pickup service at all of its stores. The home delivery business is also available at its stores. The company is trying all means to provide ready-to-eat, ready-to-heat, and ready-to-cook items to customers. Apart from these, the company is trying to expand private-label offerings in departments under the Sprouts Market Corner Deli, The Butcher Shop at Sprouts and Sprouts Fish Market brands. Product innovation continues to drive sales in private label items.

Additionally, Sprouts Farmers is focused on creating a robust omni-channel experience for customers. During first-quarter 2022, e-commerce accounted for 11.5% of total sales. Management remains excited about the opening of the company’s fresh distribution center in Aurora, CO. Through this, the company is currently supplying all stores in the Colorado, Utah and New Mexico region. This, coupled with the Florida distribution center, is helping SFM build a faster supply chain and effectively cater to consumers. It is also on track to develop a new format store, which has a smaller footprint with higher selling space per square foot, and costs 20% less to build.

Management continues with its investment to improve operational efficiencies. In this regard, we note that the fresh item management technology has been successful. The company has been implementing the system in all of its departments to lower operational complexity, optimize production, improve in-stock position, lower down shrink and drive incremental sales.

Over the past three months, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 9% against the industry’s 4.2% decline.

Solid Picks in Retail

Some stocks in the broader Retail sector that investors can consider are Boot Barn Holdings (BOOT - Free Report) , Capri Holdings (CPRI - Free Report) and Fastenal (FAST - Free Report) .

Boot Barn Holdings, a lifestyle retailer of western and work-related footwear, apparel and accessories, presently has a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy). BOOT has an expected EPS growth rate of 20% for three-five years. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Boot Barn Holdings’ current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 17% and 4.4%, respectively, from the year-ago corresponding figures. BOOT has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 25.2%, on average.

Capri Holdings, which offers accessories and footwear, carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. CPRI has an expected EPS growth rate of 11.3% for three-five years.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Capri Holdings’ current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 5.3% and 10%, respectively, from the year-ago corresponding figures. CPRI has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 49.3%, on average.

Fastenal, a national wholesale distributor of industrial and construction supplies, currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 5%, on average.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Fastenal's current financial-year sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 15.4% and 16.3%, respectively, from the year-ago period. FAST has an expected EPS growth rate of 9% for three-five years.