Posting in Cities
The natural foods supermarket chain plans to triple its locations. Underserved urban markets and small cities will be a big part of the strategy.
The strategy is being pioneered in the company's Detroit store, which is set to open in May, and it marks a big departure for Whole Foods, reports Bloomberg. "We're accelerating growth," Walter Robb, the chain's co-chief executive, told the news service. "That's going to take us places we have not been to before."
The market selections are anything but random: the Detroit location, for example, is near Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies. The company typically sites its stores where the residents are more highly educated than the average population. This is a twist on that strategy.
Apparently, Whole Foods has also been talking to the mayor of Newark and Chicago about possible locations that are underserved by grocery stores. It has already opened operations in smaller markets than usual, such as Glen Mills, Pa., and West Des Moines, Iowa.
These stores have a smaller format than the big ones in more populated areas, which means a smaller selection. But the focus is still on fresh, organice and healthy food choices.
If you think about it, Whole Foods is actually returning to its roots with this strategy. Its first store in Austin, Texas (pictured) had just 19 employees.
Aug 22, 2012
Sorry but I disagree. WF is a very socially responsible company with a tremendously loyal fan base. They are doing something right in the marketplace, otherwise they wouldn't be so successful. They do a good job of sourcing their products from companies that agree to their rather strict and high standards of quality. Bash the company all you want. It won't change the shopping habits of millions of shoppers that have made WF one of the more successful companies in an economy that is suffering for lack of national leadership.
What the article doesn't say is how this company has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Monsanto to stop Proposition 37 in California. This proposition would force companies to label all foods that have been Genetically Modified. Apparently Whole Foods doesn't want you to know just how much "UN-NATURAL" foods they really sell. Natural food store my ***. You should black list this company and not even enter their store. Hit them where it hurts. Copy this and email it to all your friends.
I work around the corner from the new Whole Foods in West Des Moines, IA and the place is packed every day. Residents seem a little star-struck with the store so I guess their strategy is working. I just wish their "smaller market" strategy coincided with a "smaller price" strategy as well.