Ex-Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, warned Amazon that its expansion into grocery would be “Amazon’s Waterloo.”
Oops! Not so much.
Not only is this more of a “Wellington Victory” for the brand, but the acquisition has forced grocery retailers in particular, and suppliers, manufacturers, heck, anyone that sells anything, to make fundamental changes to their strategies, supply chains, and customer service.
It’s been reported that Whole Foods’ customer traffic is up 3%, always a pretty good leading indicator of sales and profitability. And while not as “mainstream” as other U.S. grocery chains, brands like Trader Joe’s and Sprouts Farmers Market should be wary of a coming cleanup in Aisle 1.
Back in March 2016 we measured customer loyalty in, what was then, considered to be the roster of Natural Food markets.
Trader Joe’s was #2, Sprouts was # 3, and Whole Foods? Well, they were #5. That’s out of 5 brands tracked. As our metrics always correlate with positive consumer behavior, we weren’t surprised to see that Whole Foods store traffic was down at that point by nearly 4%! Yikes!
But that was, of course, before the Amazon acquisition.
Interested in what happened and how? We invite you to listen to “The Marketplace of Everything” in this year’s recording series, “What Happened?”
“Waterloo,” you said, Mr. Mackey? With store traffic up, sales up, and profits up, that’s the kind of “defeat” any brand would be glad to make part of their history!
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