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Whole Foods is trying to shed its “whole paycheck” reputation by duplicating the discount efforts of traditional retailers.   In addition to grass-fed beef, customers can now also buy discount items like frozen meatballs and fish fillets.   Whole Foods is also promoting its own private-label products and offering coupons.  In addition, many locations are offering special deals for a day, or part of a day, via social media channels.Article 9

Consumers now have an increased number of options when shopping for natural groceries, thus making Whole Foods step up its promotional strategy, especially towards budget constrained customers.    Whole Foods tries to be competitive with its pricing.  In a recently opened store in Detroit, Whole Foods said it was committed to making itself accessible in communities that were less affluent than Whole Foods’ traditional markets.

In 2010, Whole Foods began offering one-day sales on select items.  It has increased the number of flash sales this year and uses Facebook and Twitter to reach shoppers.   However, a growing concern among Whole Foods investors is that Whole Foods shoppers will become accustomed to discounts and only purchase items on sale.

Discussion Questions:

1. What has been Whole Foods’ pricing strategy?

2. How are they modifying that strategy?

3. Do you think this is a good idea?


SOURCE: Julie Jargon, August 22, 2013, Wall Street Journal