Who doesn’t love Whole Foods? The produce, the freshly prepared foods, the bakery—the list goes on. One thing many people don’t love, however, is the hefty price tag that comes along with them. After all, the chain didn’t get nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” for no reason. This is why the retailer’s latest announcement is particularly exciting (cue the drumroll): lower prices!
As reported on by The Wall Street Journal, there are a couple different reasons for the cost cutting (aside from many customer complaints over the years). First, a drop in sales growth due to other grocery chains such as Kroger and Albertsons increasing their natural/organic offerings. Second, the store’s operations, which currently use a regional distribution model rather than a national one, which allows stores in different cities to carry a unique mix of local and trendy products. This is a huge benefit to consumers—25 percent of Whole Foods’ shoppers surveyed by Kantar Retail said they visited the store for items they couldn’t find anywhere else—but a disadvantage in many ways for the retailer, and one of the prime culprits for higher prices.
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Don Clark, global vice president of procurement, non-perishables, for Whole Foods, is a key player in this shift. A former Target exec, he sees potential to adopt some of Target’s practices in order to slash prices and make customers happy. However, this could result in a noticeable decrease in product selection across store shelves.
Whole Foods cofounder and CEO John Mackey told The Wall Street Journal that amidst the retailer’s more conventional changes, it will remain a specialty store. “Our culture is still very unique,” he said. “What Whole Foods needs to do is to take the best ideas of the traditional supermarket industry and integrate them into our company. We think there are tremendous savings we can have that we can pass on to our customers with lower prices.”
It’s not yet known when shoppers can expect to see these changes reflected in their local stores, but it sounds as though the plan has officially been set into motion. Stay tuned to NewBeauty.com for updates!
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