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Whole Foods a la WSJ


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15 replies to this topic

#1 rotuts

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:01 AM

Today in the WSJ:

 

http://online.wsj.co...cleTabs=article

 

very interesting article.

 

FD: Im not a fan of WF.  various reasons.

 

but Im a fan of  'the markets' edible and not.  Market Forces meets WF.  very good article.  read the comments.

 

I subscribe to WSJ so cant say if this link works for those who do not.  I think the jibb-rish on the link from from a subscriber's going to the WSJ.

 

anyway its interesting to read.

 

YMMV



#2 annabelle

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:17 AM

It's behind a paywall, rotuts.  There is a work-around for that though:  Right click it and search it with Google and you can read the article, but not the comments.

 

I have never shopped at a WF since we live in Tiny Town and we aren't part of their target market.  I have studied their business model over the past few years, however.  They are working against their brand by offering sales and discount items in the manner described in the article.  Their appeal is to the Hipper Than Thou customer with disposable income above and beyond a modest food budget.  If nothing else, economies of scale won't allow them to compete on this playing field since they have only 300+ stores.



#3 rotuts

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:32 AM

here is my link to the 'comments':

 

http://online.wsj.co...leTabs=comments

 

does that get you to them?

 

maybe I should buzz them up telephonically.



#4 rotuts

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:37 AM

as a company they have no interest in a tiny town.  but what they did in the Boston area some time ago is swallow up a chain called  

 

Bread and Circus.   never saw any Lions nor Gadiators there, but that chain had a full isle 'bulk' food selection.  full isle.

 

when WF took over they shrunk that to 1/2 immediately and now its less than 10 % what it once was.

 

their choice.  however, 'bulk' is now non-existent in my area.



#5 annabelle

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:59 AM

here is my link to the 'comments':

 

http://online.wsj.co...leTabs=comments

 

does that get you to them?

 

maybe I should buzz them up telephonically.

 

 

No dice, but thanks for trying.  Could you give us an executive summary?



#6 Lisa Shock

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 02:43 PM

http://online.wsj.co...2135676136.html

 

I have boycotted WF for quite some time now. I was a Wild Oats customer. WF's illegal activities during the takeover were extremely reprehensible to me. More recently, I disagree with many of his publicly stated opinions and store policies.

 

Sprouts started here in Phoenix and is a good store with much better prices, especially on produce. They don't have as much high-end product (fancy cheese, olives) but, I have a Trader Joe's nearby as well as an AJ's -local high end market.



#7 rotuts

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 02:46 PM

good for you.

 

at least back in the Day, WF  moved their live lobster into individual 'condos'  ( PVC pipe ) after the WHole Pay Check people 

 

complained they were Fighting in the Tank in the Store.



#8 heidih

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:13 PM

Basically saying they are trying to stay competitive by offering some non-organics, and more sales. (thanks Annabelle - just did a google search for WSJ and WF) Then goes on to say they can't rely on the sale items unless shoppers also come to purchase full price items along side. Kind of Business 101 - trying a strategy to increase profits. They are a 5 minute drive with decent parking and the lines are generally quick. I go for popcorn or beans from the bulk bins and the tortilla chips they always have in the produce section for sampling are excellent. Scored a huge bunch of organic Lacinto kale recently for $1.50 that was a welcome surprise. As to general grocery shopping, no I am not lured to add other items though I am beyond spoiled with so many store options where I live so that makes me a possibly unique category. Sprouts turned me off the few times I visited when they first arrived with truly horrid produce. No, not gonna buy it just cuz it is cheap. Oh - they are in the same shopping center as a Trader Joe's - I can be found in both spots (spoiled)

#9 bonkboo

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:50 PM

I shop almost exclusively at WF, especially when farmers markets are done. We have TJ as well. Otherwise stop & shop or shop rite. The WF location opened 2 or so years ago. As I do most of our food shopping I went out of curiosity, expecting sticker shock. To my surprise, the strawberries were priced like the chains and much fresher quality. The organic milk and eggs are cheaper, particularly the milk. I can buy bulk as well. The chains are useful for paper goods and other items. I have issues with their CEO's politics but I also have a responsibility to give my kids the best quality food I can get them to eat.

#10 furzzy

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:50 PM

as a company they have no interest in a tiny town.  but what they did in the Boston area some time ago is swallow up a chain called Bread and Circus.  


In tthe Chicago area they boought Wild Oats, which was great, but I'd have to say WF is an improvement.

#11 Brown Hornet

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:08 AM

Not sure why there's so much vitriol over WF.  I don't shop at WF very often, maybe 5-10 times a year if that, but some of the stuff they carry is decent and reasonably priced -- especially the bulk grains/nuts/cereals. 

 

I do find the emphasis on "organic" produce to be highly overrated.  Atlanta is such a farmer's market town that if you're relying on WF (or any chain) for all your groceries you're missing out on the best stuff. 



#12 rotuts

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:26 AM

bulk grains/nuts/cereals

 

are a shade of what they once were in my area.



#13 Hassouni

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:24 AM

My local WF (there are a few, but the one I go to most) has quite a big bulk section, actually, nearly any kind of bean or nut I want.

 

I may be ignorant of other options, but in DC there really isn't much competition to WF and TJs (which I go to a lot). Safeway is shit, Giant is not much better, and Harris Teeter, while better, is more expensive. Not only isn't there much serious competition, I don't think there ever was, either, if one wanted top quality stuff.

 

Of course, on the weekends, I haul out 20 minutes to Super H Mart - the happiest place on earth!



#14 annabelle

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:28 AM

Brown Hornet, a lot of the vitriol has nothing to do with the products offered, but is because they aren't a union shop and the owner is not a supporter of various social engineering programs embraced by our current administration.

 

I agree that if one has a wealth of farmer's markets or roadside stands or u-pick places, you are missing out on the best the seasons have to offer by shopping at a market.  Markets are more of a matter of convenience for most than a quest for the best there is on offer.  My town has a very beautiful new market that is modern and designed to upsell.  I don't shop there often since many of the items I buy in my regular shopping can be had much more cheaply at Wal-Mart or the local dairy store.  The dairy store sells milk and ice creams from their own dedicated herd of BGH free cattle (bonus: my youngest works there and gets a 15% discount).  Wal-Mart carries the same items as the fancy market at half the price and ambience.  It's easy to do the math.



#15 Twyst

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:06 PM

I shop at whole foods for beef and for hard to find produce.  I stay away from everything else because I find it overpriced.  I can get great local farm raised lamb/goat/duck/rabbit/chicken etc etc at my local butcher shop, but my butcher only carries grass fed beef so thats a deal breaker for me, I hate grass fed beef and will take a Prime steak over a locally sourced grass fed steak every day of the week..

 

 

The whole foods in Austin is a site to behold though, WF used to be a neighborhood grocery store in ATX and their downtown store is an entire city block


Edited by Twyst, 23 August 2013 - 03:08 PM.


#16 heidih

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:17 PM

[quote name="Twyst" post="1928648" timestamp="1377295590"
 
The whole foods in Austin is a site to behold though, WF used to be a neighborhood grocery store in ATX and their downtown store is an entire city blockMine is not quite a city block, but the aisles are wider than any other store I have seen