Whole Foods is targeting millennials with a “new uniquely-branded store concept unlike anything that currently exists in the marketplace,” co-CEO Walter Robb announced this week.
The new concept was announced during the company’s second-quarter earnings report, a company news release said. Q2 earnings were lower than analysts’ expectations, and Whole Foods shares fell about 10 percent by Thursday, USA Today reported
The new concept, which does not have a name yet, is an attempt to market to younger customers and help get rid of the jokes about “Whole Paycheck” that came about because of the store’s high prices, USA Today said.
Retail consultant Neil Saunders told USA Today, “(Whole Foods) still has a problem on price. (Millennials) just don't have the disposable income to make that their destination of choice for grocery shopping."
In the company release, Robb said the new format “will feature a modern, streamlined design, innovative technology and a curated selection.” The company will begin opening stores next year, and expects to see a growth potential “as great as it is for our highly successful Whole Foods Market brand,” Robb said.
The Internet had a definite opinion about the Whole Foods attempt to pull in the millennials. Chris Matyszczysk wrote for Inc. that, “Brands are sometimes slow to realize that they just don't have it anymore. Whole Foods, however, has performed an intervention on itself and admitted to its essential dowdiness.”
“Face it, Whole Foods. You're old. You're the Grateful Dead of the gratefully alive because they now eat organically baked potato chips,” Matyszczysk wrote. “Brands, like humans, don't often age gracefully. Brands, like humans, expand as they get older. For younger people, these expanded entities just aren't attractive anymore.”
Others online were alternately excited for cheaper prices or confused by the idea:
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