As Whole Foods' local commitment wavers, other retailers pick up the slack
Source Food Dive
For years, Whole Foods was known as a national grocer that operated
like a local one — and one that gave small suppliers their crucial first
shot. Stories abound of entrepreneurs who took samples of their
lovingly crafted product into a nearby Whole Foods’ store, scored a
contract and kick-started their business.
But that sort of retailing is expensive. And while it may have paid
off for Whole Foods during its boom years, it became a drag on the
company once competing grocers began to flex their own local and organic
muscles. Before Amazon swooped in last summer, Whole Foods was in turmoil, with traffic and profits declining, and activist investors delivering ultimatums.
As Whole Foods tries to become more profitable and efficient, small
natural grocers see an opportunity to step out from the company’s
shadow. Boulder’s Alfalfa’s Market currently stocks around 3,800 locally
sourced products, and hopes to bump that number up to around 5,000 in
the near future, marketing director Chris Epp told the Daily Camera.