Whole Foods publishes their "Declaration of Interdependence" on their web site. Where it says:
Our business is intimately tied to the neighborhood and larger community that we serve and in which we live. The unique character of our stores is a direct reflection of the customers who shop with us. Without their support, both financial and philosophical, Whole Foods Market would not be in business.
A caring community focused corporate culture. Except for the CEO when it comes to health care:
A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That's because there isn't any. This "right" has never existed in America.
Oops! There is quite a backlash building because of the inconstancy of what is on the web site and what the CEO says.
And when you're building a corporate culture you have to be clear and consistent from the bottom to the top of your organization. Pull a stunt like this and your loyal customers feel betrayed.
It would have been interesting to see if Wild Oats was still around and how much market share they pick up. I bet a lot of folks will start doing a lot more shopping at Sunflower Farmers Market. We'll see.
And as a closing, I'ld hate to be the PR flak spokeswoman Libba Letton at Whole Foods who:
pointed to the grocer's long history in supporting sustainability and organic farming, food and nutritional labeling, and ethical treatment of animals.
but omits talking about the ethical treatment of people.