John Mackey and Renee Lawson Hardy, the co-founders of the current Whole Foods Market, simply wanted to provide quality healthy food to the American consumer. This was about three decades ago when the first store opened. According to Mackey, making money was not the first priory, but helping people to eat better was. Happily for Mackey and Lawson, the residents of Austin Texas were hungry, no pun intended, for just this type of product. At the time, though there were several small independent healthy food stores, there was not a full sized grocery store. This is what set Mackey and Lawson apart from their competitors, their enormous sized health food grocery store was a huge success and now Whole Foods Market (WFM) is not only a
Long Term Goal: Valuable knowledge to how both organizations work that will enable both marketing groups on integrate and provide excellent marketing advice, on behalf of Amazon and Whole Foods.
A weakness that Whole Foods have is their reputation. A reputation for a grocer is key to its survival and they have the reputation of being very expensive or some call it “whole paycheck.”
A target market is a group of customers a company has decided to ultimately aim its marketing efforts towards. Whole Foods has two different target market groups that regularly shop at their establishments. The first is the primary group that ranges in age between 22-40 years old men and women with college educations who care deeply about the sustainability of the earth and favor all-natural goods. These people truly believe in the entire brand experience and make shopping at a health food store a lifestyle decision.
Servant leadership in Whole Foods Market goes beyond serving the employees and the customers of the stores. Although, employee and customer based servant leadership does exist, Whole Foods Market believes it has a responsibility to apply servant leadership to their communities as well. Whole Foods Market teaches servant leadership through modeling from the top down. In 1985, Mackey devised Whole Foods Market “Declaration of Interdependence”. He wanted to develop a new stakeholder philosophy for the company by removing the mindset of simply working to increase profits. Makey stated, “They would at all times keep in mind the needs of employees, customers, suppliers, the environment and community as well” (Flock, 2010). This servant leadership conviction begins with John Makey. In 2006 he sent a letter to all the team members in the organization. In the letter he stated as of January 1, 2007, he would reduce
Whole Foods leadership is rare in today's corporations, where many corporations are run by an authoritative figure. Mackey has received a $1 dollar per year since 2007 – his suggestion – they have also capped executives salaries. Mackey built the foundation of Whole Foods Market on this leadership style since the beginning. According to Flanagan, "We all have the authority to make a broad range of decisions on our own, but it's extremely rare for any of us to make a decision of any consequence without consulting the full team, or many people on the team," she said. "We just don't do it that way." Shared responsibility and decision-making has been a philosophy at Whole Foods Market from the start and is shared throughout the organization. (Gaar, 2010)
Whole Foods, just like any other retailer right now, has been struggling with the economy. The external environment has been changing in uphill and downhill motions daily, something that Whole Foods has never experienced before. Not only is there pressure on the financials of the corporation, but also there is the pressure to go green.
I agree with Whole Foods Market’s CEO about no business staying undefeated and on top forever. Every business will go through a period of expansion and a period of contraction, this is known as the business cycle. There’s many times a business will get big and expand and then begin to lose profit and must close stores and reconsider their strategies to not go out of business. An example can be Macys, the store is popular for selling high brand and luxury perfumes, brand clothing as well as clothes designed by celebrities. They’ve been on top for many years, but there are many stores that now sell perfumes, such as a specific perfume store or even a retail store like Walgreens. There gets to a point that consumers take notice and even
“To give our customers the best food and beverage values that they can find anywhere and to provide them with the information required for informed buying decisions. We provide these with a dedication to the highest quality of customer satisfaction delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit” (Crafting and Executing Strategy: Concepts and Readings, 2016, p. 24).
These conflicts exist in the demographics served by Whole Foods – the elite and well to do. If Mackey is a conscious capitalist and servant leader and practices what he preaches he would have stores which are accessible to persons of all demographics. This has been the main complaint against Mackey and the one which the potential to damage his credibility as a servant leader and conscious capitalist and thus the good work of his legacy. Recently Mackey acknowledged the weakness of his legacy this and answered the call to provide good food for people of all incomes be creating Whole Food’s Market 365 stores, which only sell the stores brand. The 365 stores will have price points which are easily affordable to persons of middle and lower income (Kowitt,
Strong leadership is a Factor that is desirable when considering employment. Whole Food’s leadership possess virtues that are of top quality when considering this decision. Does the company's leadership become active toward objectives or do they just give orders? Total Quality Management is when the leadership is involved in training, making necessary improvements, and builds customer satisfaction (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013). Whole Foods possess these factors, and is health conscience, with educated managers that follow the philosophy of conscious capitalism (Cheretis & Mujtaba, 2014). Personally, when asked what are some major factors for choosing a potential workplace, the quality management that Whole Foods possess ranks at the top.
Whole Foods' utilizes a differentiated strategy, focused on organic and natural foods. This distinguishes them from mainstream grocery competitors, and puts them into competition with other specialized grocery outlets (Urani, 2008). This differentiation, combined with more traditional grocery industry size and operations, gives the company an advantage over most of its competitors.
Marketed as ‘America’s healthiest grocery store’ the company has successfully grown to 408 stores across the world with sales of $14 billion in 2014 (Whole Foods Market, 2015). The firm is positioned as an upmarket grocery due to the emphasis on natural, organic origins, and as a result are able to charge a premium for their products. Through efficiently running its operations and stores, Whole Foods are able to maintain healthy 4.02% profit margins (Financial Times, 2015) and operating margins well above the American grocery store industry average at 6.58% (Bloomberg, 2015). Looking at 2015’s quarter 1 figures it is clear to see that Whole Foods have had a hugely successful year with sales of $4.7 billion, up 10% from the same period last year. Furthermore, they opened 9 new stores and have signed a further 11 new leases.
Given the statements from John Mackey, it is his vision to create a positive working environment and Theory Y plays somewhat of a role at Whole Foods. Although Whole Foods wants to
Whole Foods Market began in 1970 as a local supermarket. Over the past 31 years, Whole Foods Market has grown from a single store in Austin, Texas, to becoming one of the worldwide leaders in providing consumers with natural and organic foods. They have grown to over 300 stores in both North America and the United Kingdom. (Whole Foods Market, Inc., 2011) This report examines the chief elements of the strategy that Whole Foods Market has put into place. Also, it uses past financial data to provide an assessment of the condition of the company going forward. Those assessments include recommendations of future actions, along with concerns I have about the way the company is currently operating and some difficulties that may be on the way.