The New York Times reports that several supermarket and retail chains, including Safeway, Walmart, and Whole Foods, are beginning to experiment with much smaller store sizes that emphasize things like cafes, prepared meals, and produce. The idea is to emphasize speed over choice, and was apparently triggered by UK competitor Tesco, which has launched over 70 small-format supermarkets in Nevada, Arizona, and Southern California over the past year. Of course, the stores also require less shelf space for products than they did a year ago.
The New York Sun says that salad and prepared food bars (at Whole Foods, for example) are making you fat. Why? Supposedly, the containers they give you are huge and lead you to unwittingly buy “supersized” portions of food for lunch.
As the economy sours, premium stores like Whole Foods are struggling to keep customers, reports the New York Times. To remain competitive, the pricey natural grocery store is offering guided tours to customers who want to cut costs but can’t stand to set foot in Winn Dixie.
Whole Foods apparently never got that June memo to chuck Nebraska Beef contaminated with E. coli. The posh-man’s bodega announced yesterday that they are recalling the previously-recalled beef, which Whole Foods sold between June 2 and August 6. The contaminated beef has popped up in 24 states and sickened 49 people. Noted food safety litigator Bill Marler shows us that being a lawyer can be fun by posing six amusingly litigious questions for Whole Foods…
Over 100 rodent droppings in one cooler alone is too many, says the Chicago Department of Public Heath… and so the Lincoln Park Whole Foods has been closed until the management can eliminate the infestation. Ick.
Here at the Consumerist we’re not trying to tell you that you need to buy organic soap, but if you do want organic soap… we think you should get what you’re paying for.
Whole Foods says that by Earth Day 2008 they will be eliminating plastic bags and instead offer only paper bags or reusable bags made from recycled plastic bottles for $0.99.
Zach’s wife found a bird feather in a bag of 365 Chopped Spinach. When she called Whole Foods to complain, a bird-brained employee quipped “You’d be surprised at how much stuff people find in their food!”
What did Whole Foods Associate Manager Ted Donoghue do when his West Hartford store lost its computer system during a major snowstorm? Nothing! After realizing that the registers were down for the count, Donoghue issued simple instructions to his cashiers: bag the customer’s groceries and wish them a happy holidays.
A judge has ruled in favor of the Whole Foods/Wild Oats merger, but the FTC has announced they will appeal the decision and are asking that the merger be blocked pending that appeal.
Three consumer groups have filed an amicus brief on behalf of the FTC, which has moved to block Whole Foods’ attempt to purchase rival Wild Oats. A federal judge is expected to rule on the case soon; in the meantime, Whole Foods earlier today extended its offer to Wild Oats until August 15th. Omg this is totally like when Heidi decided to move in with Spencer on The Hills! (We had to go to Wikipedia to write that sentence.)
Back in 2005, when the (currently being opposed by the FTC) Whole Foods/Wild Oats merger was just a glint in the Whole Foods CEO’s eye… John “Anonymous Troll” Mackey was on Yahoo! forums bashing Wild Oats stock.
Whole Foods in Manhattan has made checkout line races a thing of the past by adopting newfangled bank-style checkout lanes. The new system queues shoppers in a single line, directing them to checkout counters as cashiers become available.
The single-line, bank-style system was quickly chosen for its statistical efficiency. Then, Whole Foods paired the system with possibly the largest number of registers in the city, more than 30 per store, and it hired an army of cashiers to staff them throughout the day (including “floaters” to fill in for those who need a break).
The FTC thinks that Whole Food’s buyout of competitor Wild Oats would lead to increased prices and decreased quality according to a statement issued on June 5. They’re planning to block the buyout. “Whole Foods and Wild Oats are each other’s closest competitors in premium natural and organic supermarkets, and are engaged in intense head-to-head competition in markets across the country,” said Jeffrey Schmidt, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “If Whole Foods is allowed to devour Wild Oats, it will mean higher prices, reduced quality, and fewer choices for consumers.”
Over at the Gowanus Lounge there is new discussion of the Brooklyn Whole Foods that is to be built on site of a toxic chemical spill that is absolutely, 100%, positively, in no way, seriously you guys, we’re not kidding around here NOT the fault of Verizon. Whole Foods has finally branded the site despite the huge hazmat warning, as shown in this way-cool photo.
Yes, it’s time for another edition of “New York’s crazy wine retailing laws!”
For those of you not familiar with the landscape of the borough of Kings, this is a photo taken from inside of the site of a new Whole Foods store in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. Currently, the site is home to an underground toxic plume of benzene that may or may not have originated at the nearby Verizon fuel station. Verizon denies that the fuel station, which is at the epicenter of the toxic plume, is the cause of the mess, despite the fact that there have been 5 oil spills on the site.