Sunday, August 9, 2009

Whole Lotta Junk Foods?

In an interview in this week's Wall Street Journal, the CEO of Whole Foods admitted that "we sell a bunch of junk". I think it's fair to say that CEO John Mackay intended this as a rallying cry to help reclaim the brand's position as a healthy food retailer. But some commenters saw this as a blunder that could harm Whole Foods as it fights it out with other food retailers. In the UK, Marketing Week compared Mackay's speech to Gerald Ratner, who saw his company's value plunge by £500 million after admitting that the jewelry sold by his firm was "total crap". Whole Foods has just experienced its third consecutive quarter of declining sales at stores open at least a year, as the company continues to lose ground to brands like Trader Joes and Costco. So what would you do to turn things around at Whole Foods? Is the company on the right path by focusing on a return to healthy eating? Or are there other approaches that they should be considering. What would you do if Whole Foods were your brand?