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Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) Enters Uncharted Path

Posted in Business8 months ago • Written by Bruce OdomNo Comments

Dallas, Texas, 09/16/2014 (ustrademedia) – Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) is responding to competition in its market by doing something new. The company announced a rewards program that would be available on trial in selected markets before a national rollout later. The program allows customers to accumulate points that can lead to discounts or store experiences, Bloomberg stated in an article.

The launch of the shopping rewards program reveals the commitment by the $14 billion natural and organic foods retailer to try new ways to boost sales amid heightened industry competition. The launch of the rewards program also signals a change of heart in the company given that for about 30 years it has resisted such moves to attract customers. However, almost all its rivals in the natural-foods business already have various reward programs in place.

National rollout in 2015

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) said that the rewards program would first be tested in its store in Princeton, New Jersey, starting this month with plans to expand it to Philadelphia later in the year. Commenting on the development, the company’s spokesman, Michael Silverman, said that they expect national rollout of the rewards program in late 2015.

Shoppers at Whole Foods stores can accumulate reward points through a rewards card or downloaded mobile application. The accumulated points can be used for discount purchases or store experiences like cooking lessons. Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) expects the trial period of the rewards program to last between six and eight months.

Doing more to boost sales

Whole Foods recently moved cut prices on certain items in apparent efforts to become more competitive as it faces competition. The company is getting a run for its money from rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), which are not also expanding their natural foods offering, but also trying to attract shoppers with lower prices and rewards programs.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM)’s challenges saw the company reducing its fiscal sales target. The company expects sales in the current fiscal year to increase by 9.9%, yet it originally forecast sales to 11% for the year.

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