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Whole Foods John Mackey Brand of the Day

Brand of the Day: Whole Foods


By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

June 25, 2015 | 3 min read

Whole Foods is battling to defend its image after it was accused in New York of routinely overcharging customers.

The New York Department of Consumer Affairs accused the upmarket organic food retailer of overstating the weight of some pre-packaged products, resulting in customers being charged up to $4.13 more than they should have.

The governmental department conducted tests on 80 different pre-packaged products bought in nine of its New York stores found that all were labelled with erroneous weights.

Following the report, Whole Foods said it rejected the DCA's "overreaching allegations" and that customers were its number one priority.

While the brand has received some negative media coverage for overpricing, its image as an eco-friendly organic food retailer remains unscathed.

Here’s more about the brand.

The first Whole Foods Market opened in 1980 in Austin, Texas when four local businesspeople merged together their two companies, Safer Way Natural Foods and Clarksville Natural Grocery.

Two of the original four founders, John Mackey and Renne Lawson borrowed $45,000 from family and friends to open Safer Way. During this time they were thrown out of their apartment and forced to live in the store, using a dishwasher and hose to wash themselves.

Whole Foods expanded massively throughout the 90s by acquiring 10 other natural food chains throughout the US. They entered the UK in 2004 after acquiring seven Fresh and Wild stores.

After criticism of its pricing and the “Whole Paycheck” reputation, the company announced that it would be opening a cheaper chain targeted at millennials.

Whole Foods co-founder and CEO, John Mackey, works for just $1 per year and does not receive any bonus. He does own valuable stock in Whole Foods but swore off big pay checks in 2007, citing his passion for the business to realise its potential as the reason for doing so.

Whole Foods John Mackey Brand of the Day

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