SWOT Analyis of Whole Foods | Business Teacher
The strengths of Whole Foods Market can be observed from three different perspectives namely customers, employees and investors. In particular, the following are the strengths of the company. The company enjoys a strong brand reputation (Gregory, 2017). Customers normally prefer to buy from a company with a strong brand image. This makes Whole Foods to be a stand out among the rest in the industry because it can attract as many customers as possible. Additionally, the strong brand reputation can also translate into high sales volume, and hence, profitability (Johnston & Szabo, 2011). Further, it is the reason why the company’s market presence is great because it has a large customer base. High-quality products. The standards of production are quite high, making the company’s products to be of superior quality. It is a key strength for Whole Foods Market since it differentiates the company from its immediate competitors offering cheap products at low prices (Gregory, 2017). Quality is a strong selling point of a product, and irrespective of the price, it leads to product preference. Motivated workforce. For a company to be successful, employees must be kept motivated. Whole Foods Market has a great organisational culture that supports productivity (Gregory, 2017). Keeping top-performing employees gives a company a performance edge because it reduces the cost of hiring and training new employees (Johnston & Szabo, 2011). This strength is the reason why there is low employee turnover in the company.
The company has the following weaknesses. The first one is high dependence on the local (U.S.) market (Gregory, 2017). The company has its branches spread in the vast majority in America. In this case, the company is very vulnerable to country’s economic changes. High prices: many customers are price-sensitive, and in this regard, they will avoid buying from a company offering products at high prices (Gregory, 2017). Therefore, this weakness makes the company less attractive to prospects that consider the price to be a critical factor before making their purchase decisions. A limited network of suppliers: this weakness directly affects its supply chain operations. According to Gregory (2017), the fact that Whole Foods Market has a limited network of suppliers that meet the quality specifications makes it difficult for the company to expand its operations as fast as possible, and consequently, a reduction in the business growth rate (Johnston & Szabo, 2011).
The following opportunities are available for the company. First, the company can take advantage of the global expansion of retail operations. This means that Whole Foods Market can go global and reduce over-reliance on the U.S. market alone, and hence, reduces the vulnerability of the business to local economic changes (Gregory, 2017). Second, there is also an opportunity to expand the supply chain globally. As noted by Gregory (2017), Whole Foods Market can complement its market growth by incorporating organic producers in its supply chain. Through this, it can capture the attention of customers who have a high preference to organic products (Johnston & Szabo, 2011). Competitive pricing is another opportunity that the retailer can take advantage of (Gregory, 2017). For example, the company can adjust its product prices depending on the nature of the market. Even though quality comes with a cost, a slight reduction in product prices cannot interfere with the superior quality image that it enjoys in the market.
First, the company faces high competition from well-established firms such as Wal-Mart that offers products at lower prices than Whole Foods Market (Gregory, 2017). In addition to this, the number of organic and health food retailers are on the rise, and since they offer products at lower prices, the consumers’ buying pattern is shifting. Second, the rise of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) products in the market is a threat to company’s products (Gregory, 2017). This is because; it lowers the ability of the company to meet its standards of offering organic products with no GMO contents. Finally, climate change or global warming is posing a threat to Whole Foods. Global warming has the potential of reducing food production significantly (Gregory, 2017). This can lead to limited supply, thus causing further inconveniences to the company and customers.