Business Brief 2

Topics: Annual report, Fiscal year, Financial statements Pages: 9 (1947 words) Published: January 27, 2014
To: David Dillon, CEO, The Kroger Co., ddillon@kroger.com

From: Nichole Brandenburg, nbrandenburg@kroger.com

Subject: “Whole Foods Market, Inc. 2011 & 2012 Annual Report Review”

Date: October 23, 2013

Dear David:

In response to your request, I have reviewed Whole Foods Market, Inc. Annual Stakeholders’ Reports for 2011 and 2012. Please review this email report for my findings on tone, theme, content, format and financials; my recommendation is to explore Whole Foods, Inc. further for potential purchase by The Kroger Co.

Tone of The Whole Foods, Inc. 2011 & 2012 Annual Reports

The Annual Stakeholders’ Reports are located on the company webpage within the Company Relations tab under Investor Relations, Annual Reports. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info/investor-relations/annual-reports. The Annual Stakeholders’ Reports are listed year by year, and each report is bulleted with four similar titles: Form 10-K, Annual Stakeholders Report, Letter to Stakeholders, and Notice of Yearly Annual Meeting & Proxy Statement. The Form 10-K contains a title page, a table of contents, and the content of the report that is organized as Part I – Part IV with Items 1 – 15 within the Parts. The Form 10-K is an analytic report written with a formal tone, and the theme is consistent throughout the report. The Form 10-K offers information and analysis; the content within the annual report (Form 10-K) is written in paragraph form with bold topic headings and italicized subheadings. The Annual Stakeholders’ Report includes graphics and tables to clarify financial data for the corresponding year. After reading the Letter to Stakeholders, located at the front of the report, I have gathered a positive message of company growth.

Review of Management Letters and other Front Matter

The Letter to Stakeholders is written by Whole Foods, Inc. Co-CEO’s, John Mackey and Walter Robb. The 2011 letter starts with the CEO’s describing Fiscal 2011 as “another incredible year for our company.” The 2012 letter starts with the CEO’s saying “This was the best year in our company’s 32-year history.” From reading both letters, I have concluded that Whole Foods Market, Inc.’s state of business is growing and achieving financial success while continuing to honor their Core Values. In both the 2011 and 2012 letters, the CEO’s deliver a positive message but each report attributes the year’s success to different approaches. In the 2011 letter, CEO’s describe a wavering economy with rising inflation and increasingly tougher sales comparisons, attributing their positive performance in 2011 to their “visible value efforts.” These “visible value efforts” are listed in Form 10-K on pages 4 & 5 under the Differentiated Product Offering bold heading. The flow of the 2012 Letter to Stakeholders is similar to the 2011 letter; both introductions focus on sales growth, weekly sales per store; translating to sales per square foot, and stock prices. The 2012 report, however, discusses the opening of 25 new stores, expanding into eight new markets, and increasing square footage. In 2011 Whole Foods Market, Inc. reported average weekly sales per store of $754 per square foot, and increased these sales in 2012 to $932 per square foot. The body and conclusion of both letters contain two headings: We Walk our talk when it comes to our core values, and Our business model is very successful and continues to benefit all of our stakeholders.

Contents of Annual Reports & Changes from 2011 to 2012

1.) Contents

Please refer to Appendix B, Table of Contents for Whole Foods Market, Inc.

Part I:

The beginning of both reports start with a Part I, which covers several topics: Business Description, Industry Overview, Differentiated Product Offerings, Seasonality, Growth Strategy, Competition, Marketing, Global Responsibility, Government and Public Affairs, Trademarks, Store; Description, Operations, Team Members, and...
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