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Whole Foods Market: a Strategic Analysis

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Whole Foods Market: A Strategic Analysis

Adrienne Lee Richard Linowes Spring 2009 General University Honors

5/6/2009

1

WHOLE FOODS MARKET: Strategic Company Analysis

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Whole Foods Market, Inc. has long been admired as an innovative company with quality standards, a devotion to community and environmental responsiveness, a healthy growth model and highly-regarded employment practices. However, the company has faced recent difficulties as a result of the economic recession, increasing competition, and complications from acquisitions. To revitalize the company from historical lows in its toughest year in history, Whole Foods Market must reassess its costs, refocus its expansion strategies, and promote its brand to compete for the diminishing consumer spending dollar. During the changes in strategic initiatives, it is also important for the company to keep Whole Foods Market’s mission and its brand value intact. The chain is known for its high standards, quality, and ethical practices; this image is at stake when any changes in brand or reputation are made. It is of utmost importance to balance the positioning in order to increase awareness and sales, but at the same time avoid diminishing the brand and message of the company. Without the value behind the Whole Foods brand, the company will not survive—recession or not. If Whole Foods can successfully complete these initiatives that include major restructuring while also generating public relations buzz that coincides with its vision of quality and goodwill, the specialty food retailer will be well-positioned to experience rapid growth again when the economy turns around.

COMPANY BACKGROUND Whole Foods Market, Inc. is an Austin, Texas-based foods grocer of the finest natural and organic foods available, including produce, seafood, grocery, meat and poultry, bakery, prepared foods and...

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