Why a pared-down lower-priced Whole Foods Market spin-off is a branding win
This week Whole Foods Market made a huge announcement: during its Q2 sales report, Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb stated that the chain is launching an all-new store concept with a simpler design and lower prices in an effort to target younger and lower-income shoppers.
“Offering our industry leading standards at value prices, this new format will feature a modern, streamlined design, innovative technology and a curated selection,” said Robb in a statement to the press. “It will deliver a convenient, transparent, and values-oriented experience geared toward millennial shoppers, while appealing to anyone looking for high-quality fresh food at great prices.”
Is it counterintuitive to expand in a way that lowers prices? Not quite—in fact, it appears to be a smart move that could end up being a win for the Whole Foods brand overall. The new spin-off has strong potential to draw in a whole new demographic of shoppers—those who are fans of Whole Foods products but could not previously afford the price. To that end, a successful launch of this offshoot could at least partially help Whole Foods shake off its “Whole Paycheck” reputation. Yet by maintaining two separate models, Whole Foods won’t risk losing any of its established shoppers by making any changes to its flagship Whole Foods Market locations.
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What’s more, Whole Foods Market is doing exceedingly well—the chain reported 10 percent total sales increase in Q2, reaching a record $3.6 billion. It’s true that one could say, if Whole Foods is doing this well, there should be no need to take risks on offshoots like this. But on the other hand—if there’s ever a time to expand and experiment, a time of surplus is the best time possible.
At the moment, Whole Foods Market has not yet announced a name, but is in the process of building a team with hopes of opening stores on a rapid basis starting next year. “We believe the growth potential for this new and complementary brand to be as great as it is for our highly successful Whole Foods Market brand,” Robb in the statement. “We look forward to sharing more details about this exciting new venture sometime before Labor Day.”
Lidl's climate targets and carbon neutral ambition
Discount retailer Lidl has announced its aim to reduce CO2 emissions from its own operations.
By 2030, Lidl aims to reduce its operational emissions by 80% across all 32 countries it operates in.
Lidl lowering prices and carbon emissions
To achieve this, Lidl will focus on cutting carbon emissions across its retail stores and distribution centres in a number of ways:
- Solar panel installation on all new stores, where possible
- Improving overall energy efficiency through investment in the latest refrigeration and lighting technologies
- Lidl will operate 350 electric vehicle charging points at its stores by 2022
- The company will also oblige suppliers, representing 75 % of product-related scope 3 emissions, to commit to their own climate protection targets according to the methodology of the Science Based Targets initiative, by 2026
- Lidl will continue to support farmers in Lidl GB’s Grassroots programme, to conduct develop carbon reduction plans.
Lidl’s ambitious targets to make a significant contribution
Lidl has been building partnerships with other suppliers to boost sustainability, such as its initiative with Wyke Farms to produce a supermarket-first carbon neutral cheddar and Lidl’s commitment to ban peat from its compost range by 2022.
“With the UK hosting COP26 in November, this is a crucial year in the fight against climate change and we recognise our responsibility to reduce our emissions to help tackle this important issue”, said Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB. “As part of the Schwarz Group, Lidl has a presence in 32 countries around the world and more than 310,000 employees globally. We’re therefore one of Europe’s largest retail businesses and through these ambitious targets we hope to make a significant contribution by not only rapidly decarbonising our own operations but also supporting our suppliers to do the same. As a discounter, it is ingrained in us to be constantly looking to maximise efficiency and reduce waste. Whether it’s how we heat and light our stores, or how we transport food from our suppliers to our warehouses, we are continuing to find ways to cut emissions across our business.”