Whole Foods received a warm welcome when it entered the grocery scene, with its emphasis on organic and high-end goods, but the tough economy's effect on the chain's performance has caused it to rethink some of its strategies. Namely, the pricing that earned it the not-so-endearing nickname Whole Paycheck.
Bargains are hardly synonymous with the store's image, but it's thinking hard about how to change that. The New York Times calls Whole Foods's efforts to offer discounts and lower-priced store brands a sign of the times, and the company's co-president Walter Robb is confident they can be competitive. He told the Times, "I’m getting a little tired of that tag around our neck. We are a lot more competitive than people give us credit for. We challenge anyone on like items."
I appreciate the store's efforts to focus more on value, but it will take a lot for the company to change its image in the eyes of a public who has become accustomed to the store's reputation. I'll certainly be taking advantage of the newly introduced Value Tours led by store employees — will you do the same?