Chapter 8: Whole Foods Market Customers entering a Whole Foods store are greeted with a visual feast: fruits and vegetables like bright red peppers and glossy green avocados in a colorful collage. Beauty is an important part of pleasure and how we interpret a food experience, says Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey. We seduce the customer with produce. Offering beautiful produce and other fresh, natural, and often organic food is the foundation of Whole Foods. The health-food store Mackey started in Austin, Texas, in 1978 has grown into the leading natural
Chapter 8: Whole Foods Market Customers entering a Whole Foods store are greeted with a visual feast: fruits and vegetables like bright red peppers and glossy green avocados in a colorful collage. Beauty is an important part of pleasure and how we interpret a food experience, says Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey. We seduce the customer with produce. Offering beautiful produce and other fresh, natural, and often organic food is the foundation of Whole Foods. The health-food store Mackey started in Austin, Texas, in 1978 has grown into the leading natural foods supermarket chain, with nearly 900 stores and $9 billion in yearly sales and has helped create a $15 billion industry. During its growth Whole Foods has honed and retained its culture, based on a commitment to simple, healthful food and environmental sustainability. The company values and strives to satisfy all its stakeholders: customers, employees, community, suppliers, as well as the shareholders whove invested in its stock. Whole Foods views itself as an alternative to the usual business model and follows the principle that the purpose of business is not primarily to maximize shareholder value, says CEO Mackey. He believes his companys philosophy will be the dominant one in business in the 21st century. Focusing first on customers, Whole Foods provides consumer education as well as fresh, healthful products. The next emphasis is on happy employees. The second-largest non-union U.S. retailer, Whole Foods has ranked fifth among Fortune magazines list of the best 100 companies to work for. Its team members earn an average $15 an hour, receive full health benefits, are given the company financial data, and have a say in a stores operations. The chain buys as much as possible from local, organic farmers and promotes them through store displays. Whole Foods donates 5 percent of profits to community projects and shows its responsibility to the environment by promoting green brands, purchasing renewable energy, building energy-efficient stores, and leading the movement to use reusable shopping bags. The company takes its concern so far as to seek poultry and meat from animals raised as naturally as possible and treated compassionately. Founder and CEO Mackey inspires his companys culture. Even through Whole Foods executives have their salaries capped at 19 times the average worker pay, he cut his pay to $1 a year. He says he has enough money. Industry analysts and stockholders have questioned whether Whole Foods can maintain both its culture and profitability as competition increases. Traditional grocery chains now offer many organic products, often at lower prices than those at Whole Foods, nicknamed whole paycheck. Lowering prices to compete would lower Whole Foods profits and perhaps reduce the service that marks the Whole Foods experience. Another concern: as more supermarkets carry organic products, the limited number of organic farmers may not be able to meet the demand. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9lIEQyDfAQ
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