retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Time has a piece in which it suggests that when Whole Foods announced that it would open a new chain of stores under a different name that would have lower prices and a stronger appeal to millennials, it was an attempt to save face in case previously announced plans don't work out.

After all, it wasn't that long ago that Whole Foods said it planned to grow from its current fleet of 417 stores to more than 1,200, that it was engaged in a broad price-cutting strategy that would help it gain distance from its "whole paycheck" reputation, and that it would open a portion of these stores in smaller markets by using a smaller footprint.

Now, the story suggests, Whole Foods may be seeing that these strategies and tactics have their limitations, especially in the face of highly effective competition from the likes of Sprouts and Trader Joe's, and is reaching for a different approach that will help it fulfill its growth goals.

And, Time suggests, while consumers may respond to this new strategy, the evidence to this point is that Wall Street is less than enthralled.
KC's View:
I loved it when one MNB reader came up with a name for this new chain of stores - "Half Foods."

I'm not saying this can't work. But I do think that Whole Foods is demonstrating that its strategies and tactics haven't been working to the extent that it hoped, and there are serious questions about whether this is just a matter of throwing (organic, gluten-free) spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.