If you happen to have a Whole Foods supermarket in your area then you’ve probably noticed how popular the chain has become over the last 3-4 years. After all, where else can you get a few stalks of organic Swiss Chard for $6.99 or imported whole been coffee for $17.99 a pound? Heck, I was so enamored with the supermarket when it first opened in our area that I would make excuses to visit just to take in the quality of the produce and walk down some of the aisles showcasing potassium rich coconut water and rich veal demi glaze (without making a purchase).
So, it came as a big surprise today when the chain supermarket reported a 30 percent decrease in profit during the 3rd quarter – Whole Foods executives blamed the tough economy and consumers move to “cheaper products and discount stores.”
Specifically, the decline surprised me because the folks who shop at Whole Foods tend to be in high income brackets (and usually don’t lose sleep over a slow down in the economy). So, if Whole Foods shoppers are staying home we may have a real problem brewing in the economy (this is also true in the current luxury automobile market).