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Published by:
RSM Case Development Centre (2010)
Revision date:
15 pages
Data source:
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Whole Foods has grown from a single store to a US leading natural and organic food chain in three decades since its 1980 inception. The company is not just a food retailer but represents a healthy, socially responsible lifestyle that customers can identify with. It differentiates from competitors by focusing on quality and innovation, which allows them to charge a premium price. This strategy has formed the company's success over the last 30 years but like any success story there are limits to how far it can go before a new direction is needed. Since mid-2000s there has been an increasing demand for natural and organic foods, which has led to a growing number of players including low-price leaders like Wal-Mart moving into the organic foods industry. This increase in competition can introduce price wars where profits are eroded for both existing competitors and new entrants alike. While proud of the past, Whole Foods is seriously concerned about the future direction it should head.


Supermarket; Grocery; Retailer; Organic food; Natural food; Green; Social responsibility; Premium; Differentiation; Competition; Price; Recession
53,500 employees
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