Whole Foods has a rather ironic problem on its hands; it’s selling products that are just too popular. Earlier this month, the high-end grocery chain announced it would close nine stores after about a year of falling same-store sales. Why does this come as a surprise though? Because organic produce sales have spiked like crazy over the past year due to more shoppers looking for more responsibly-sourced food. Other grocery chains that have caught on to this and now offer more organic options than before include Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Costco, etc. This had led to the possibility of easily undercutting Whole Food’s steep prices.
Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey, said the chain will slow its plans for expansion in the future to refocus on keeping their core customers from leaving for other stores. In a recent earnings call Mackey added, “I do think the world is very different today than it was five years ago,” Mackey said in the call. “And Whole Foods is adapting to the new world it finds itself in.”