Whole Foods announces store closings…

(THOMAS DISHAW)  Whole Foods has announced its closing nine stores and lowered its financial projects for the year. According to this Fox News report, the retailer is facing increased competition and slow sales growth.

Whole Foods Market Inc. said it would close nine of its stores and lowered its financial projections for the year, moves made as the natural-foods company struggles with increased competition and slowing sales growth.

The Austin-based retailer’s list of closures includes locations in Davis, Calif., and Augusta, Ga., a company spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday. Whole Foods said it would take a $30 million charge in the second quarter related to the closings.

As recently as last year, Whole Foods said it saw the potential for 1,200 stores in the U.S. On Wednesday, it did announce that it had opened 13 stores, including two relocations, in the first quarter. It expects to open six in the second quarter, including two relocations.