Whole Foods Shares Dropped Nearly 50 Percent

whole-foods11Despite the rise in organic foods, Whole Foods shares are down almost 50 percent. Investors are “uniformly negative on the company” because they don’t see an increase in performance in the future because of increasing competitors like Costco that are selling organic products at lower prices. Mark Retzloff, an industry pioneer, says “If one of those stores is just down the street from a Whole Foods, there’s a big segment of their customer base that isn’t going to shop at Whole Foods anymore.”

Whole Foods has always been deemed as being overpriced, being named “Whole Paycheck.” However, Whole Foods used to fight this “price image” problem by promoting their quality and selection to shoppers. More shoppers and activists are realizing that Whole Foods have “routinely” overcharged customers, even with their latest scandal. After coming clean of “mistakenly” overpricing products at Whole Foods, sales fell immediately. Growth tumbled to just 0.4 percent, after being 2.5 for weeks. Whole Foods says “it actually hurt worse outside New York City,” even though the price disparities scandal was at New York City.

While many analysts believe that cutting prices will increase performance and brand equity, co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb believe that changes in products to cater at a lower cost does not correlate with their values. “Sure we could sell cheaper farmed salmon- but it’s terrible for the environment. Our products are not the same as what other grocers are selling,” says Mr. Robb. Whole Foods co-CEOs disclosed that they have no intentions to alter their products to cheaper products.

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