Whole Foods Is Lowering Its Prices, But There's One Catch

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images
It’s a well-known fact that Whole Foods is the grocery store of dreams (and don’t even get us started on that prepared food bar). Of course, there’s one major downside — the beloved chain isn’t exactly cheap and a shopping trip is often accompanied by a hefty bill.
So that's why we hope you’re sitting down, because Whole Foods has announced that it’s lowering its prices.
The company’s CEO John Mackey, who is not a fan of the store’s nickname “Whole Paycheck,” has hired a Target executive to spearhead an effort that will centralize purchasing and lower the prices of Whole Foods' products.
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Is there a catch? Sadly, yes. If the effort is successful, prices will indeed drop — but there will be a more limited selection of items in Whole Foods stores. As of right now, the average store stocks between 35,000 and 52,000 products. The first low-cost Whole Foods market opened in Los Angeles last May and it stocked just 7,000 items.
The company’s stores are currently divided into 11 regions, but this system will be reevaluated as part of the new effort to lower prices. Although Whole Foods’ basics can be found at pretty much any store, one of the chain’s main attractions for many shoppers is that each region carries local products. In fact, one-quarter of customers say they shop at Whole Foods because the store carries items that can’t be found elsewhere.
Mackey hasn’t divulged all the details on this new strategy, but he’s stated that it “strikes a balance” between national brands and those beloved regional grocery offerings. Strategy meetings are in full swing at the Whole Foods headquarters in Austin, and Mackey emphasizes that he’s confident it’ll lead to “tremendous savings” for shoppers.
Major savings at Whole Foods? We definitely like the sound of that.
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