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Whole Foods launching line of ‘cheap’ stores for millennials

Apparently, millennials have chosen student loan repayments over golden beets.In a move that has garnered a great deal of attention, Whole Foods recently announced that it is adjusting its strategy by launching a line of stores with lower prices.

It’s a concept that has become necessary for the high-end supermarket chain as they discover that millennials are more price conscious than anticipated.

Even with how do-gooder and values-oriented millennials have been said to be, the generation hasn’t in a major way gone for luxury-item prices for food that comes with better-for-the-planet promises.

Boomers remain the biggest buyers of luxury goods and services, at 50 percent, while millennials spend only 3 percent, according to The Fiscal Times.

Whole Foods is currently negotiating leases and also said they are building a team to focus on the new lower-cost markets. The company plans to begin opening the new stores in fall 2016.

But a blog on Inc.’s website makes a good point about how branding the new chain with the same name, Whole Foods, is liable to create consumer confusion.

Click here to read more from our Millennial Minded

The only thing that discredits the commentary is the author’s lame attempt at humor: “Since the retailer is targeting Millennials, who not call it Self-Entitled Foods?”

Side note: If you’re going to make a sideswipe like that, you look extra silly doing it with grammatical errors. Besides the obvious one, “self-entitled” is redundant. Being entitled is defined as believing “oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges.” The prefix is unnecessary. But, surely, this so-called burn reveals that the author is confused about more than prescriptive grammar; you can’t credibly critique the attempt Whole Foods is making to respond to new demographic trends while bringing up outdated stereotypes.

Anyways, Forbes joined in the skepticism, also expressing concerns about the new direction at Whole Foods.

Forbes cited various industry watchers who questioned whether, “Trader Joe’s has (already) succeeded with a curated selection and reasonable prices,” or if, “It runs the risk of consumers thinking: a) Whole Foods has been ripping us off all along, or b) this new format offers poorer quality stuff and that’s why it’s cheaper.”

Whether it’s going to work out for the natural and organic foods grocer, which admittedly already has a vice-grip on the market with its more than 400 nationwide stores, remains to be seen.


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Brett Johnson

NJBIZ Business Events