On Wednesday, December 19th, Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb discussed what’s next for the company with stock pundit Kim Cramer on his show Mad Money. Robb said his team is working on expanding its store count, and expects to have 20% Private Brand penetration in the coming years.
We’ve talked about this (price competitiveness). Worked really hard on our competitiveness. Quality and value, quality and value, it’s always a dance. I think we are fundamentally more competitive. And I’m looking you in the eye and saying, hey, we are going to be competitive on like product because we’re going to continue to grow the company.
You have been doing terrific work rolling out private label. Is there a balance? Some people want to see those branded products in the store, they don’t want all private label. Other people, some of the branded companies, they can’t be that happy you’re competing directly with them.
We found in the downturn, they want their brands and they want the private labels. So I think we will strike a balance, maybe 20% of sales is about the right balance for us. You don’t want to go too much because people won’t be able to see the brand they like. Some of the European companies are 70%, 80% private label, we’re not going to go that far. I think a nice balance of the brands, local companies in particular, and the private labels are right for Whole Foods.