Thursday, October 30, 2008

Whole Foods' Woes

It's been a rough couple of months for Whole Foods. Their sales are slumping, their stock has lost 80% of its value, and the FTC has reopened its case trying to block their acquisition of the Wild Oats chain, even though the merger process is already well underway.

I know it's fashionable to bash Whole Foods for their focus on "industrial organic" products, their high prices and their boutiquey atmosphere, but I really like shopping there. I happen to like their stores more than some of the local coops, where I often can't find items I want. I even appreciate the upscale feel on some level: for better or for worse I think that kind of ambiance has gone a long way towards bringing natural foods mainstream.

I suspect that their recent woes will ultimately make them a better company, perhaps helping them adapt to an economic climate where there's more of a demand for everyday products than luxury items. They do seem to be pretty savvy overall.

No comments: