Whole Foods Puts On a Show
By George Anderson
Whole Foods’ wants its shoppers happy and spending their money — make that really happy and spending a lot of money.
The chain’s new 80,000 square-foot concept store in Austin, Tex., described in a USA Today report as “the grocery equivalent of Disney World for food junkies,” has everything from massage therapists on duty to fountains of running chocolate for organic strawberry dipping.
“Americans love to eat and Americans love to shop. But we don’t like to shop for food. It’s a chore, like doing laundry,” said Whole Foods’ founder John Mackey. “Shopping should be fun. With this store, we’re pioneering a new lifestyle that synthesizes health and pleasure. We don’t see a contradiction.”
“Whole Foods offers a psychological absolution of our excesses,” said Jerald Jellison, psychology professor at University of Southern California. “After filling your cart with sinful wine, beer, cheese and breads, you rationalize it’s healthy, so that cancels out the negatives.”
Author, media personality and industry analyst Phil Lempert said, “They’re not selling food. They’re selling life.”
Moderator’s Comment: Will Whole Foods be successful with its new concept? –
George Anderson – Moderator