After reading the case, I think that they are using acquisition as their main element of strategy. As the Exhibit 4 “1992-2007 Major Acquisition by Whole Foods Market” shown, they had bought 134 stores in 15 years. Their goal is to open bigger store but at the same time acquiring others stores, although the acquisition of Wild Oats didn't go well since 2007 because the FTC opposed the acquisition on ground that the competition of the organic food market would be weakened. Whole Foods Market started to focus on opening larger store from 2008, from store range 40,000 to 60,000 square-foot, to let customers have a wider place to shop in. The biggest store they have now is in Austin, Texas, a 78,000 square-foot flagship store with a country style layout. Their driving concept is to create an inviting and interactive environment that customer will considered shopping organic food as fun.
2. Is the strategy well matched to recent developments and conditions in the natural and organic foods segment of the food retailing industry?
As the context of the case said, the population of consuming and demands for organic foods is growing year by year, the total sales of organic foods in 2007 in U.S was around 63 billions. Therefore Whole Foods Market’s acquisition strategy is pretty much matched the recent developments and conditions. They were so eager on buying their main competitors “Wild Oats” so that they could have more stores in the whole market. Whole Foods Market merchandising strategy is focus on more and more daily organic products for house holds and also to create an inviting and interesting shopping experience in the store. They have team members in the store to share any information about “how to cook?” “how does it taste like?” “How was it grown?” etc. Teams were empowered to please the customers in many different ways. According to Whole Foods Market