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Whole Foods Trying to Shed Whole Paycheck Image

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?

Source and Source

jessica2009 jessica2009 8 years
The stuff is really very good at very affordable price. ============ Jessica AH infosource
pugglelover pugglelover 9 years
I've found that somethings are cheaper @ WF than others. However there produce is way over priced
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I just go with Trader Joe's, since it's about 5 blocks closer to my place than Whole Paycheck.
Janegreenrrr Janegreenrrr 9 years
Whole Foods has the best food around. The quality is outstanding!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
I usually shop at whole foods or trader know, I have found whole foods to be cheaper than my local QFC or SAFEWAY on most stuff. I will gladly pay the extra $$ for their meat - it is much better then anywhere else! Ryot, thanks for sharing your story - that is wonderful for you and a great testament to what putting good things in our bodies produces! Hurray for you!
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I have neither a Whole Foods or TJ in my neighborhood ---they don't open up in areas making less than 70k. I travel about an hour and a half on the bus just to go to TJ b/c they are cheaper and have fresh fruit and veggies compared to my neighborhood grocery stories.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
I lived a few blocks away from the Whole Foods national corporate headquarters/store in Austin. Whole Foos originated in Austin. I loved it, but I did always call it Whole Paycheck. Eating organic regularly is too expensive for me.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
my fiance and i used to shop at whole foods all the time - even when there were other stores closer to us - but lately we've been going for the more cost effective products in other stores. it really is a sign of the times. at one point in my life i wouldn't have minded shelling out some more money to get the nice product from whole foods, but lately there's not enough of a difference to me to pay the high end costs. i think that WF will have to do a bit more to regain any market share and find it's niche in the industry. so many other chains are going organic and getting locally grown product - so this isn't something that you can ONLY get from WF anymore.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
We don't have a Whole Foods around here. We do have a Trader Joes though and i love it!
redegg redegg 9 years
Well that chart up there shows they are more expensive. I try to shop there but lately have been really disappointed in the quality of produce and bread items. I've gotten garlic with mold all throughout it, onions that are bad, tortilla wraps that had spots of mold the size of quarters by the 3rd day when I opened them and tried to eat them. And buns that molded after 2 days. It makes me sad and mad too because it costs a lot to shop there and it used to be pristine.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
OMG I guess I haven't lived in the States for a couple years but I cannot believe that a gallon of milk (I know it's organic, but still ...) costs $6. Wow. I can't even comprehend that.
Michaelrcks Michaelrcks 9 years
I agree with Ryot - Whole Foods is great!
courtneyd courtneyd 9 years
I have to say, many of the things they sale are often cheaper than my Safeway. And I much prefer to buy meat and seafood here as the quality and taste is better. And even though Trader Joe's often has cheaper produce, I find most times when I buy TJ produce, it goes bad the next day - so unless I'm using it the day I buy it, forget it; it's money down the drain. However, I have to keep from buying too much meat and other prepared products at Whole Foods - that always makes my bill add up quickly.
Ryot Ryot 9 years
Weather the storm*. Bah typos!
Ryot Ryot 9 years
I think that with food, like so many other things, you get what you pay for. I really believe that the Whole Foods that opened in my neighborhood about a year ago is the only reason I'm able to walk up a flight of stairs by myself, and why I've been able to put my cane into storage (and btw I'm only 27). I have a debilitating chronic illness that had me almost completely house bound a year ago, but last September I started sticking to a really strict diet that involves cutting out all processed foods. Because of the diet, I regained my mobility, was able to start working again, and am almost completely off my pain medication. And I don't think I would have been able to stick with the diet if not for Whole Foods. One of my favorite things about Whole Foods is their prepared foods, and the fact that they post the ingredients for everything they make. I can't have sugar, or corn syrup, or margarine, or a whole host of other things that most grocery stores don't have any qualms with pouring into their "deli" selections. At WF, I can quickly check to see if something is safe for me. They bake the *only* bread anywhere that I can safely eat. They have pizza that's safe for me, even! To say nothing of the biggest selection of organic produce anywhere nearby, and the only place that carries raw milk products. It's really been a godsend. So I know the price may seem a bit high to some, but for me, I can't put a price on my health. And in some ways I'm able to look at it as just another cost of working, since sticking to the diet, even with the higher food bills, has allowed me to start working again. I've heard that Whole Foods is having some financial troubles currently, with the economy the way it is, and I hope they weather this store. I don't know what I'd do if they closed my local store.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 9 years
work on the milk, beef and peanut butter prices some more and I will rethink this equation ;)
Taadie Taadie 9 years
I try to avoid the regular supermarket because they are more expensive than trader joes around my way since I live in a lower income neighborhood. Plus all the produce looks like it fell off the back of a truck and then the truck backed over it. I do go to whole foods every once in a while and they are getting a little better with their prices on certain things. Their prepared and frozen foods are really the things that seem to never be on sale.
jasmint jasmint 9 years
Certain things can get expensive, like produce and prepared foods (I often buy lunch there and end up spending like crazy) but I'm often surprised that I can find items there for the same price or CHEAPER than I can at Ralph's or even Trader Joe's.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
We always go there for lunch...they have a good selection of stuff available, but it does get expensive. You have to be especially careful at the salad or hot food bars...since it's like 6 or 7 bucks a pound. :faint:
itsme3683 itsme3683 9 years
I think it's a great idea that they're doing that, because I know I definitely have that perception of Whole Foods. That said, I'll still always go to the supermarket or Trader Joe's just because there are none around me, and I still really believe that the produce from Whole Foods really expensive--local and organic at my supermarket is still cheaper--but maybe they really have changed their ways.
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