Whole Foods Market: An Overview

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Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market demands the greatest percentage of shares in the world grocery chain market. The company was founded in 1980 with an idea of advancing the concept of supermarket chain stores in organic and natural foods (Lewis, 2017). The public trade name of the business is Whole Foods Market Inc. The organization uses a stock ticker symbol of WFM.

The success of the firm in foods retailing business has seen it operate over 460 stores across the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States (WFM, 2018). The American-based supermarket chain business operates in two broad segments in the foods market – perishable commodities and non-perishable products. The former contributes about 65% of the firm's total revenues with bakery and prepared foods as the best-selling categories. The latter account for 35% of the total sales made by the business. The stores of the firm are in the average size of 28,300 square feet (WFM, 2018). They focus on foods products that are free from sweeteners, flavors, colors, and artificial preservatives. The delivery joints for the products mostly include juice bars and in-store cafes (Lewis, 2017). More important to note is that Whole Foods has recently introduced another segment of private label products. They include aromatic teas, roasted nut butter, organic pasta, and aged wine vinegar.

Financial Performance

Over the last five years, the company has reported an annual increase in its revenues despite high competition in the market and numerous challenges of keeping up with the new distribution channels and fresh foods introduced in the industry by new entries. From 2016 to 2017, Whole Foods recorded a two percent increase ($16 billion) in its revenues (WFM, 2018). The basket size increased despite the decline of the transaction count. The improvement saw the firm open over 30 additional stores. However, the business reported having experienced a decrease in its net income by $245 million which is approximately 50% compared to the figure in 2016 (WFM, 2018). The loss of about $150 was attributed to the expenses related to mergers while $95 was lost through lease terminations, relocations, and store closures (WFM, 2018). The cash obtained from the company's operating activities in 2017 was reported to be about 1.14 billion U.S dollars (WFM, 2018). The main competitors of WFM in the industry include Walmart Inc., GNC Holdings, Inc., Shaw’s Supermarkets, SUPERVALU INC., Publix Super Markets, Inc., and Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.

Target Stakeholders of WFM and their Relationship to the Firm’s Mission, Vision, and Values

The target stakeholders of WFM include the customers, investors, team members, suppliers, and employees. The company mostly addresses the concerns of its stakeholders through corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. WFM seeks to impact its business by addressing the interests of the investors and the team members. The employees play a critical role in improving the success of WFM by increasing their competitiveness and supporting the business’s capacity. From its vision statement – Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet – it is evident that WFM acknowledges that the people are the true resources of the company (Meyer, 2017). The employees actualize the intended purpose of the firm's vision by maintaining the spirit of happiness and team excellence. To ensure that the workers are kept motivated in realizing the vision, WFM strives to address their interests including compensations and rewarding. In 2013, the hourly wage for WFM workers ranged between $16 and $18. Other retailers were not able to match this high wage for their employees. Furthermore, the firm has worked hard to build trust between management and the team members through transparency policies and team programs in a bid to achieve unity, a fundamental element that will facilitate the achievement of the vision. The win-win partnership between WFM and its suppliers has improved the satisfaction of the latter. As a result, the suppliers are adequately motivated to help the firm enhance its standards of excellence.

Mission, Vision, and Values

The mission of WFM is to set excellence standards for other retailers in the industry (Meyer, 2017). The investors have contributed immensely to improving the quality of products and services offered by the company. They have helped the firm realize high profits and productivity. Besides pioneering excellence of the business in the foods market, the input of the investors has championed for good returns on investment, an element that is also captured in the vision statement (Meyer, 2017). The customers have greatly benefited from the core values of the company. The business highlights the selling of the highest quality organic and natural products to the consumers as their priority. Furthermore, the organization is guided by its value to delight, satisfy, and nourish its clients (Meyer, 2017). With the advancement of environmental stewardship by the company, more customers get attracted to the business. Promotion of healthy eating education is a core value developed in the organization and which appeals to many customers. Most recently, consumers have adopted a trend of a healthy lifestyle and, therefore, by promoting healthy eating, WFM resonates well with the current shoppers' attitudes.


Lewis, R. (2017). Whole Foods Market. Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Whole-Foods-Market

Meyer, P. (2017). Whole Foods Market’s Vision Statement, Mission Statement. Panmore Institute. Retrieved from http://panmore.com/whole-foods-market-mission-statement-vision-statement

WFM. (2018). Whole Foods Market history. Retrieved from https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info/whole-foods-market-history

January 19, 2024

Business Food

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