Price Cutters

Whole Foods Struggles to Move Past ‘Whole Paycheck’ Reputation

Supermarket sweeps.
Supermarket sweeps. Photo: Whole Foods

The natural and organic grocery-store giant has taken some pages from the social-media playbooks of other companies, all in order to push sales of less expensive products like frozen meatballs, The Wall Street Journal reports. High-end products like dry-aged and grass-fed beef are still on offer, and Whole Foods is still aiming to make in-store GMO food labels mandatory, but the 350-unit chain is also preoccupied these days with beating out other natural grocers and traditional supermarkets that are expanding into similar territory.

How are they competing? With flash sales, apparently, and a blitz of limited-time deals promoted on Twitter and Facebook. Because the chain’s stock price recently reached a new split-adjusted all-time high of $56.80 compared to a low of $4.27 in late 2008, the Journal notes, the strategy seems to be working, but even still, the numbers aren’t great compared to the competitors’, and there may even eventually be a price to pay for all those deep discounts: Customers “trained” to look for deals often become picky and ignore full-priced products on the same shelves, which of course doesn’t help growth, and meanwhile, its new era of economy-size accessibility may just move Whole Foods one step closer to becoming just a regular old supermarket.

Whole Foods’ Battle for the Organic Shopper [WSJ]
Related: Whole Foods to Label All Genetically Modified Foods

Whole Foods Struggles to Move Past ‘Whole Paycheck’ Reputation