Sprouts and Sunflower: Together at Last, Naturally

Looks like natural food nuptials are underway for two farmers market store chains.

In a move that translates to 139 stores, 10,000 employees, and two billion dollars, Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market has announced it will merge with competitor Sunflower Farmers Market, who has corporate offices in Boulder, Colorado, and Phoenix, at the end of June.

Sprouts will acquire 35 Sunflower locations, expanding its reach to Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, and strengthening its presence in California, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas (all of the locations will be re-branded as Sprouts by the end of 2012.).

The combined company plans to open up to thirteen new stores in 2012, and projects its 2012 annual revenues to approach two billion. Both chains were established in 2002.

This is the second merger in two years for Sprouts. In 2011, it combined with San Diego-based Henry's Farmers Market.

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