Whole Foods Market is the leading natural foods seller in the world. Its foods are characterized by the following: they do not contain additives, they are wholesome and fresh, they are organically grown and they promote healthy life. The supermarket has grown over decades through mergers and acquisitions and was rated position 70 of the top 100 corporate citizens. This case analysis seeks to explore the overall situation at Whole Foods, outline the key issues, define the man problem and explore alternative solutions. In the final analysis, the case selects one specific solution to the main problem, outlines a way of implementing it and makes relevant recommendations.
Synopsis of the Situation
SWOT analysis is a strategic management tool that is used to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a company. Some of the strengths of the supermarket include the fact that it deals in whole foods as opposed to highly processed foods, has good customer relations, offers wonderful shopping experience and has efficient management structures.
External analysis usually involves examining the opportunities and threats that are at the disposal of the company. With the increase in lifestyle diseases, the company has a huge opportunity to increase its profitability in the future. Secondly, the company will be able to expand into more cities across the world. On the other hand, according to Martens and, the grocery industry is rapidly changing. The above analyses are summarized in Figure I in the appendix.
The main issues worth elucidation in the context of Whole Foods Market are employee and customer relations, the state of competition, the changing grocery industry, the changing demographics and customer needs, management operations, financial operations, supply of organic foods and ethical code of conduct.
The major difficulty lies in the fact that competition in the industry has been increasing with time. When the supermarket was being established, there were hardly 6 stores in the same industry. Today, many competitors have come on board and new entrants continue to emerge. Some of the key competitors include the Wild Oats Market and Trader Joe’s Co. Related to this, the other major setback is that fact that in the U.S, on 3% of farmland is organic.
Some of the alternatives at the disposal of the company include opening up conventional stores, making more acquisitions, market segmentation, improved financial operations and global expansion.
Selected Solution to the Problem
Whole Foods Market intends to pursue aggressive expansion measures in the long-term. Specifically, the company sought to increase revenue to $12 billion with over 300 stores. In this pursuit, the company will not sacrifice its ideals on quality and reputation. According to Harasta and Hoffman (2007), although this was not to be an easy way, the President was to look for the best way forward.
The strategic objective will be implemented in a span of five years. Moreover, there will be annual reviews of the progress in the growth of revenues.
The Whole Foods industry is still virgin and holds lots of potential for the company. To unlock this, there is a need to do continuous research into the best products for specific clients. The company should increase its budget for research in a bid to discover or improve whole food products. According to Gad and Spainhour (2011) and Shimp (2008), research and development is the core of any organization that is thinking in strategic terms.
Over the last few decades, Whole Foods Market has had its own successes. Although there have been challenges, they seem to have peaked in the height of immense competition and new players in the market. A rigorous industry analysis reveals that the supermarket has internal strengths which would be useful in exploiting its opportunities. Specifically, the company will use its strengths to achieve revenues of at least $12 billion in a period of 5 years.