The company that we chose to internationalize is Whole Foods Market. This is an American company, founded by 4 men with previous experience in the grocery business. John Mackey and Renee Lawson worked at a grocery store called Safer Way Natural Foods, and Craig Weller and Mark Skiles worked at Clarksville Natural Grocery. These four men thought that it would be wise to combine their expertise and merge these companies and create Whole Foods Market in 1980. This was a wise decision, because Whole Foods has been growing and has experienced a great amount of success in the United States. After 4 years of opening, they decided to start expanding in the U.S, and in 2002 and 2004 they began international expansion in the Canada and the UK, respectively. Whole Foods Market sells more than 2,600 natural and organic products under 3 proprietary brands. These brands include Whole Foods Market, 365 Everyday Value, and Whole Catch. This company has also had much recognition. It has been placed in Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for, as well as the Fortune 500 list. As previously mentioned, Whole Foods has experienced a lot of success in the United States. It currently operates 375 stores throughout the United States, Canada, and the UK, with more than 80,000 employees. In 2013, Whole Foods earned revenue of $12.9 billion. We believe that this company is ready to expand even more than just the UK and Canada. With its constant revenue growth over the last 5 years and them constantly opening new stores throughout the U.S, we believe that they could benefit by expanding their market into more countries.
Current Situation (SWOT)
One of Whole Foods’ biggest strengths is their reputation. They are known for having the largest selection of organic, healthy, locally grown food. When compared to other health food stores, Whole Foods offers more variety in its products. As previously mentioned, they have more than 2,600 products in different categories from produce to ethnic foods. Another strength is their revenue. Not necessarily the size of it, but rather the growth. In 2010, they generated $9 billion in revenue, which has been growing every year since. This shows that they are a thriving company and are ready to move on to bigger things. Another strength that Whole Foods possesses is its experience in the industry. Since all four of its founders came from different health food stores, they know the ropes and can use that experience to improve their own company. One of the things that Whole Foods lacks on, which could be considered a weakness, is their range of food. Yes, they have a wide variety of types of food, but within each of those types, there aren’t many options. One thing that could benefit the company would be to have more options within each category of food. Another weakness is their international operations, which are very limited. Next, there is a phrase that is commonly used when referring to whole foods: “whole paycheck.” This is a stab at the prices of items at the store, because people spend their “whole paycheck” there. These high prices are obviously a turnoff to customers and prevent them from bulk shopping. The last major weakness of this company is their target market. The market is so small that they need to rely on repeat customers and customer loyalty, as opposed to larger grocery chains which attract a larger amount of people. A new fad that is hitting most consumers recently is the healthy eating kick. People are becoming more health conscious and more aware of the things they eat. This is a huge opportunity for Whole Foods, and they should take advantage of this before the fad fades. Another opportunity that Whole Foods has is advertising. Presently, Whole Foods mainly advertises by word of mouth or billboards outside their stores. They do little to no social media advertisements, which if practiced would generate more recognition as