Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Discusses Plans to Bounce Back in 2016
AUSTIN, TX – John Mackey, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is undeterred when it comes to the challenges the natural and organic retailer faced this year. In an interview with the Post and Courier, the executive remained optimistic in the face of what he referred to as the hardest year the retailer has experienced.
“It was a challenging year for us for sure. We saw our same-store sales continually slow down, quarter by quarter,” he told the Post and Courier. “I cannot remember any year we received this much negative media coverage. We felt like a lot of things were just blown way out of proportion.”
Mackey was confident in a 2016 turnaround, which includes a 9-point plan featuring lower prices, more differentiation, and the highly anticipated, millennial-focused 365 format.
“[365 is] going to have a curated product mix. There’s not going to be any expensive items in those stores,” Mackey said, telling the Post that the company’s high quality food has equated to a high price reputation that this format will not have to bear. “In addition, we are going to invest less capital and have lower labor costs, which will allow us to operate the stores more efficiently and that will enable us to have lower prices. So 365 stores will be far less expensive, but they will also have the same quality Whole Foods has without compromising our quality standards.”
While negative headlines attributed greatly to the frustrations of 2015, Mackey is looking forward to a better year ahead.
“One thing is going to happen in 2016 is a lot of these trends will reverse themselves,” Mackey said, explaining that Wall Street focuses on spreadsheets based on the continuation of trend lines that were exaggerated. “I think that one of those things that ends up happening oftentimes in the media and Wall Street is they tend to exaggerate trend lines.
AndNowUKnow will continue to report on Whole Foods as it brings these extensive plans into fruition throughout 2016 and beyond.