Organizing Whole Foods Markets
Whole Foods Markets was founded in 1980 by Craig Weller, Mark Skiles, John Mackey, and Renee Lawson in Austin, Texas. The four businesspeople decided to open a natural foods supermarket in Austin with a staff of 19 people. It was an immediate success since natural food supermarkets were very limited in the United States at the time. Since then the growth of Whole Foods Markets has been accomplished through mergers and acquisitions that include the following companies: Whole Food Company; Wellspring Grocery; Bread & â€˜Circus; Mrs. Goochâ€™s; Fresh Fields; Bead of Life; Amrion; Merchant of Vino; Allegro Coffee; Natureâ€™s Heartland; and more.
In 1984 Whole ...view middle of the document...
Whole Foods Markets goal is to sell the highest quality of fresh organic products available. They define quality by evaluating the ingredients, freshness, safety, taste, nutritive value and appearance of all of the products they carry. They place a high premium on perishable goods and over 67% of all products sold at Whole Foods Markets are perishable, an indication of organic integrity within the industry (Gallager, M., 2006). Marketing campaigns and product lines revolve around highlighting this premise. Whole Foods Markets consider themselves the buying agents for their customers and not the selling agents for their manufacturers. Customers are the most important stakeholders and the lifeline in their business. Whole Foods Markets believes that by satisfying their customers that they have the opportunity to satisfy the needs of their stakeholders.
As the leading supermarket chain for organic and natural foods, Whole Foods Market has shown rapid growth over the last decade with sales approaching $5 billion in 2005 and predicted sales to reach $10 billion by the year 2010 ( Gallagher, M., 2006). Purchasing managers at Whole Foods Markets show strengths in knowledge, planning, organizing, implementing control and analyzing the market to find the best products possible to buy and it shows numbers as sales reach all time highs.
According to a statement made by John Mackey (2004) Whole Foods Markets has a very unique motivational strategy and business model based on a stakeholder philosophy. What they mean by stakeholder philosophy is that the business is managed for multiple constituencies. They believe that the best way to maximize long-term shareholder value is not to aim for it directly. Itâ€™s sort of like if you want to maximize happiness in your own life, you donâ€™t aim directly for it. It comes as a byproduct from having a life full of purpose and love and friendship. Well similarly, the best way to maximize long-term shareholder value is not to aim directly for it, but to put the customer first by building the business around the customer. In a service business like Whole Foods, if you want to put the customer first, you also have to elevate the employee, or the team member, very high as well. So, at Whole Foods, they rank their stakeholders as: customer first, team member second, stockholder third.
One of the employee incentives and benefits received while employed at Whole Foods is a unique health care program. The company pays 100% of the premiums for all full-time team members who are automatically enrolled. Although the deductibles are high, Whole Food Markets provides a personal wellness account or a health reimbursement accounts with $1,000 deductible in medical cost and a $500 deductible for prescription drugs. As noted in a speech given by John Mackey in 2004:
We also set a $3,500 maximum out-of-pocket expense, which...