Whole Foods Market in 2008: Vision, Core Values, and Strategy

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Case Study Analysis for Whole Foods Market

This paper is an analysis of Whole Foods Market’s vision, core values, and business strategy. It lays out the type of strategy that Whole Foods Market utilizes, what parts of this strategy work and what parts could use improvement. This case study analysis concludes that Whole Foods Market has a very good business strategy, has a strong, clear vision, and lives by its core values. With only a few minor recommendations, Whole Foods Market can and should climb its way back to the top.

Case Study Analysis for Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market captured around 11 percent of the total natural or organic sales from the total U.S. grocery store market in 2007 (Gamble, Strickland, and Thompson, 2010). That is quite a lot of market share for one grocery store chain. In order to be successful, a business entity must have a strategy, or “a series of competitive moves and business approaches that managers are employing to grow the business, attract and please customers, compete successfully, conduct operations, and achieve the targeted levels of organizational performance” (Gamble et al. (2010), p. 6). This case analysis will attempt to “dig in” to the strategy of Whole Foods Market and determine whether or not Whole Foods Market has attained a “sustainable competitive advantage” (Gamble et al. (2010), p. 7) with the strategic moves they have chosen. Chief Elements of Whole Foods Market’s Strategy

There are a number of really good strategic moves that Whole Foods Market has put into place that has contributed to its success. Quality Standards and Customer Commitments
Whole Foods Market is in the business to “sell the highest quality foods we can find at the most competitive prices possible” (Gamble et al. (2010), p. C-13). Whole Foods Market makes it a priority to evaluate the food choices it makes and ensure that these foods rate highly in terms of nutrition, freshness, appearance, and taste, while maintaining a list of unacceptable ingredients for the foods they sell. They also guarantee their products 100 percent and strive to make the shopping experience of their customers a fun and enjoyable adventure (Gamble et al. (2010). Another strategic move geared towards a commitment to its customers is the size and scope of many Whole Foods Market stores. Over 100 of the stores opened since 2000 have averaged 48,000 square feet with 18 of these stores being over 60,000 square feet. It is also common in a Whole Foods Market store to see mini-restaurants, pastry chefs, oven ready items prepared by in house chefs, juice bars, fresh cut and exotic flowers, household items, and free wireless Internet access among many, many other extras for the customer (Gamble et al. (2010). Merchandising

Whole Foods Market has put into place a customized store layout plan for its stores. Stores do not follow one specific layout, but are mixed and matched and tailored to fit the size and structure style of the building that is used. The layout for Whole Foods Market stores is designed to accentuate whatever product mix is successful in a specific area. The goal of Whole Foods Market is to create a fun, enjoyable atmosphere that comes in third place after home and the office. Hand stacked produce, in store chefs, scratch bakeries, prepared food stations, whole body departments, salad bars, and sit down dining areas are just a few of the many features that Whole Foods Market has utilized to ensure an enjoyable shopping experience (Gamble et al. 2010). Whole Foods Market received high marks from merchandising experts and customers for its presentation focusing on bright colors, high quality of foods, high customer service, wide aisles and cleanliness. Regional managers state that “we take the best ideas from each of our stores and try to incorporate them in all our other stores. We’re constantly making our stores...
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