In reference to “Bracing for Whole Foods’ U.S. Expansion Plans” (Jan. 16 issue, Page 6), I have some additional suggestions for “meeting and greeting” this competitor:
- Retailers shouldn’t focus on natural/organic and local foods. Whole Foods’ success derives from an across-the-board, above-average flair in all perishables categories, compared with the mundane standards of many traditional supermarkets.
- A “head start” before Whole Foods opens should involve work and research investment, not just cursory store visits. Targeted consumer research will identify weak points other than high prices (which, as you noted, have recently moderated with private brands).
- Don’t rest easy after the initial impact proves to be less than expected. Whole Foods has a long maturity curve and will progressively “eat a larger slice of the cake” for five years or more.
DSR Marketing Systems