Overview: Provide a brief overview of the company. Include such details as its history, present day situation, and any other pertinent information you think is helpful in understanding the company (points 5) * Whole Foods Market was founded in 1980 working with natural and healthy foods in Austin, Texas; it’s one of the world’s largest of natural and organic foods supermarkets. In 2009, the sales total $8 billion and had 289 stores in the U.S. The Whole Foods Market plans to come up with strategies to help improve the company but to do so understanding the core values plays a major role in the company’s planning. The strategies they want to improve the growth strategy, store location strategy, product line strategy, pricing, control expenses, and merchandising strategy. This company values keeping all its products natural meaning minimally processed, largely or completely free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, and other non-naturally occurring chemicals, and as near to their whole, natural state as possible.
1. What are the chief elements of the strategy that Whole Foods Market is pursuing? (points 10) * The chief elements of the strategy that Whole Foods is pursing are providing foods labeled natural and organic. Whole Foods executes that by offering the highest quality, least processed, most flavorful naturally preserved and fresh foods available. Also, to establish the company as a market leader of natural and organic super markets by differentiating its offering with the highest quality naturally preserved food to the world market and become international brand in every community. However the company is also determined to establish unique value chain activity by recruiting specialized and knowledgeable workforce to up keep company’s growth and profit margin. The strategy also focuses on sustainable agriculture and serves the community members. A simple way to think of it is company’s chief elements are Whole Foods, Whole People, and Whole Planet.
2. Is Whole Foods’ strategy well matched to market conditions in the food retailing industry (one of the criteria for a winning strategy discussed in Chapter 1)? (points 10) * Yes, Whole Foods’ strategy is well matched to the market conditions. Their product line strategy is focused on providing natural, organic, and gourmet food and nonfood items to their customers. Whole Foods is recognized by the USDA as being a Certified Organic grocer by Quality Assurance International. This means that all their products are grown organically; the products are grown without the usage of pesticides, fertilizers, bioengineered, growth hormones, or antibiotics.
3. Do you think John Mackey has a good strategic vision for Whole Foods? Why or why not? What do you like/dislike about the company’s mission/vision “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” that is set forth in case Exhibit 1? Do the mission/vision and the core values underlying it (case Exhibit 3) really matter at this company or are they just nice words and cosmetic window dressing? Explain. (points 20) * Yes I do believe that John Mackey has a great strategic vision. Now that the organic food market is a fast growing market in which he had gotten into this market segment at the right time and knew what he had visions on doing. What I like about the company’s mission/vision statement “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” is because its all about a healthier world. Especially because people are becoming more health-conscious than the years before, people are aware of what eating lifestyles they choose. I believe that the mission/vision and the core values underlying it really matters because John Mackey was able to create that along with knowing how to create a better environment that makes their stores appeal to its current and curious customers.
4. Do Whole Food Market’s core values as presented in case Exhibit 3 really matter? Are they ‘real’ or just cosmetic window dressing? What evidence can you cite to support your answer? Have Whole Foods’ core values contributed to the company’s success? Why or why not? (points 10) * I do believe that Whole Food Markets core values as presented in case Exhibit 3 really matter because that’s what the company stand for 100 percent. Whole Foods are into providing a superior product while serving the community with organic foods and gourmet products. The Whole Foods company really concentrates on the quality of their products and the evidence I have to support this was by visiting their website at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values/core-values. I do also believe that the core values contribute to the company’s success because the values reflect what is truly important to them as an organization. As it stated “these are not values that change from time to time, situation to situation, or person to person, but rather they are the underpinning of our company culture.” (Exhibit 3, pg 431 and the website I used as evidence).
5. Based on the financial statement data in case Exhibits 9, 10, and 11, how well is Whole Foods Market performing? Use the financial ratio information in Table 4.1 on Chapter 4 (pages 98-99) to assist you in calculating a revealing set of financial ratios and interpreting them. (points 15)
6. How well is Whole Food Market performing from a strategic perspective? Does Whole Food enjoy a competitive advantage over its 3 chief rivals – Wild Oats, Fresh Market and Trader Joe’s? Does the company have a winning strategy? (points 15)
7. What recommendations would you make to John Mackey regarding the actions that Whole Foods’ management needs to take to sustain the company’s growth and financial performance? (points 15)