If you’re hoping for a new Whole Foods location in your area, you might be in luck. Amazon is reportedly planning a Whole Foods expansion, but they’re not building new spaces, instead leasing out the empty buildings after the closures of other retailers. Amazon did not immediately return Red Tricycle’s request for comment.

According to sources who spoke to Yahoo Finance, Amazon is eyeing the sites of former Sears and Kmart stores for possible new Whole Foods locations. While there are currently more than 470 Whole Foods stores across the country, there are still several states that have none, or very few, Whole Foods stores. Recently closed Sears and Kmart stores in several of those states, like Wyoming and Montana, could serve as good locations for a Whole Foods expansion.

Photo: Courtesy Whole Foods

“There are lots of vacant retail space that they can take advantage of, and that gives them access to reasonable retail locations,” Neil Saunders, managing director of retail at GlobalData, told Yahoo Finance.

Whole Foods has not officially announced any plans for an expansion, but at a retail real estate event in Dallas, Texas, Jim Sud, Whole Foods’ executive vice president of growth and business development said, “First and foremost, we’re looking for the best location we can find. So if that’s an existing center—second generation space—that meets all of our criteria… we’ll jump all over it.”

It certainly seems like the opportunity is there, based on Sud’s comments. We’ll just have to wait and see.

—Shahrzad Warkentin



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