whole foods 365Take a look at this fascinating opinion piece from the investment site Motley Fool. It correctly identifies the problems with Whole Foods and its reliance on national brands as well as the potential for the retailer to differentiate with private brand.

Whole Foods Market, Inc.’s Worst Business Segment in 2015

In what’s proved to be a tumultuous year for Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM), is it possible to identify the company’s worst business segment in 2015? The task is more difficult than it may seem at first blush, as Whole Foods reports its results under just one operating segment.

Yet, as I wrote in the companion piece to this article, Whole Food Market’s Best Business Segment in 2015, we can still replicate the various ways in which management looks at its operations internally. As an investing exercise, let’s name what, in an alternate universe, has already been crowned the grocer’s worst business segment in 2015: name-brand natural and organic packaged goods.

As the year wore on, Whole Foods’ management faced the fact that competition from larger grocers, including Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) and Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), was a primary factor behind the company’s falling comparable-store sales versus simple self-cannibalization from new store openings. During the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call in November, Co-CEO John Mackey singled out the grocer’s need to communicate its differentiation more forcefully to its customer base.

Read the entire article.



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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.