The Whole Foods Market Commerce Essay

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Whole Food Market is a chain of supermarkets which is registered in NADAQ and trades as a WFMI.. According the figures of September 2009, Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods Market) manages and operates about 284 stores among which 273 stores are in 38 States of United States, Six are in Canada and five in the United Kingdom. Main products of Whole food Market includes meat, poultry, seafood, grocery, bakery products, prepared food, tea, coffee, food supplements, body care products, vitamins etc. Whole food Market also has household products, pet related products, floral and books (Corporate information, 2010)

Whole Food Market was established in 1978 by two college dropouts John Mackey and Rene Lawson Hardy. These two young boys were borrowed $45,000 from family and friends to open the doors of a small natural foods store called SaferWay in Austin, Texas. Two years later, John and Rene partnered with Craig Weller and Mark Skiles to merge SaferWay with their Clarksville Natural Grocery, resulting in the opening of the original Whole Foods Market on September 20, 1980. (Wholefoodsmarket, 2010).

From then on Whole Food Market has experienced steady growth and shaped itself as a giant in the supermarket domain in United States. The company is still growing and got third place in the list of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding Top 25 Green Power Partners. (The Wall Street Journal, 2007). Michael Pollan (2007) in his book The Omnivore�s Dilemma discussed some aspects of food origination of Whole food Market. Pollan did extensive research about the Organic food that is sold in whole Food Market. He discovered that the products which are available in the market are either the product or byproduct of the Corn, containing at least one form of the corn. He reveled that now the Corn is being overproduced and to adjust this mass production, the corn are being used as a fodder to animals like cows and Chicken in Farms etc. which has a adverse impact on the Human Health. (Pollan, 2007)

Whole Foods Market stores claim that the freshness and quality of their food products by promulgating to follow the rules and regulations but most of the fresh products and items are gathered from different sources. These food products are then accumulated and froze to maintain the freshness; than these items are sold by tagging as organic foods.

Conveniences provided by Whole Food Market

The Whole food market provides the convenience of timing because these markets open early in the morning and close after 10 PM usually. This flexibility is the key reason for the buyer to shop as per his or her timing convenience, with peace of mind. Whole foods markets also provides a ranges of different brands that allow the customer to choose according to his or her preferences but most of the fresh products (milk, meat and eggs etc) are in frozen form.

Environment

Whole foods market is the ideal place, because these markets provide the pleasant environment to do shopping by providing the facilities of congenial atmosphere and background music as well (some time). Furthermore, customers may find different resources for healthy cooking and nutrition just beside the vegetable or meat stands that may provoke them to do more shopping.

Pricing

Whole Food Markets does not provide price convenience to buyers. A buyer has to pay according to tagged prices unless there is any upcoming special offer or discount. Normally that type of offers and schemes are not prescheduled, the customer can�t do any planning to do cost effective shopping. However, Whole food market does offer the convenience of payment method to the buyer. Consumers have choices to settle his or her bill either through Debit and Credit Card or through cash. These options provide the flexibility to customer in choosing the payment mode with security

The prices in the whole foods market are influenced by the middle man and other factors like transportation cost, building maintenance cost and storage cost etc. These factors are the causes to high prices as compared with the Farmers market. Besides that, lack of bargaining opportunities are another cause to agree with the store�s pre-tagged arbitrary prices.

Thus it can be concluded that Whole Food Market is too expensive and most of the Americans can�t afford to shop there. At the same time a lot of the food at a Whole Foods is trucked or flown in from very far away, thus, wasting a lot of fossil fuel and polluting the environment.

Customers are also not very happy about the decoration and different business operations of whole food Market. Most of the customers complained about the salad bar varieties and collection, un-availability of the French Cheese inside the market etc. some of the customers also complained that the customer services of whole Food Market is very unfriendly and unprofessional. They said that customer service people have no smiles on their faces to welcome and ask the queries and concerns of the customers.

Due to economic recession and due to above mentioned complaints the company is facing continuous losses. Therefore, in such situation, the following plan should be implemented to improve the organization�s financial position because without the customer satisfaction, no business can grow.

Integration - Causal Chains and Strategy

Strategic Goals:

Strategic planning of an organization is setting the path for future direction. In strategic planning, organizations decide their goals and targets, strategy to achieve these targets and how to improve their position (Burkhart and Reuss, 1993). The company has financial, customer related, internal and learning related strategic goals. However the primary goals for the company to achieve are:

� Enhance profit by giving good and quality services to the customers

� Invest in the development of the employees which ultimately lead towards the development and growth of the organization

The objectives mentioned above are all in the pursuit of these two main goals. There are no such goals which do not support the attainment of the primary goals. All the above mentioned goals are important for the ultimate attainment of the final goals hence, no objective or goal can be eliminated from the company�s objective.

To achieve the primary goals of the company, Whole Food Market could coordinate with Farmer�s market and applies and implements a proper training and learning plan for the employees to keep constant vigilance and quality check in order to provide best and excellent quality services to the customers.

Quality services can also be ensured by hiring the services of independent consultant which can give tips to guide and train the employees so that they will be able to provide extra ordinary quality to the customers. Quality of the service can also be ensured by providing feedback opportunities to the customers so that they can express their concerns openly. These all efforts will pave the way for attaining our ultimate goal, i.e. to enhance profit by giving good and quality services to the customers.

Training is the organized procedure by which people acquire knowledge and / or skills for a definite purpose. For a new employee training is a means of transition and adaptation from a theoretical to a practical situation. During this transition, the individual learns skills and more knowledge necessary to meet the requirements of the job. For an experienced worker, training is a process of re-orientation to meet the additional job requirements. The purpose of training is to increase productivity and job performance (Taylor & Lippit, 1975).

The scope of employee development programs is highly sensitive to budget and costs. Informal development is probably the least costly but harder to plan, control and achieve quality. Formal program maintenance can be expensive. For this reason organization�s allocation to development programs tend to fluctuate with economic and financial conditions as well as with the aims and philosophies of top management. When budget cuts come, informal training continues, but formal programs are curtailed and outside training resources are less utilized. An organization may suffer if it depends too strongly on either a formal or an informal approach (Tracey, 1975).

Whole Food Market can use outside consultants in order to assist in developing internal programs. The principal value of a consultant is not to do the teaching, but to aid in the development of policies, programs, and plans, and to measure results. Smaller companies not having elaborate personnel or training departments can benefit from consultants, for the cost is less than that of operating a training department. However, some sacrifices of scope in the over-all program may result. This will help us to attain our second primary goal, i.e. Invest in the development of the employees which ultimately lead towards the development and growth of the organization

There are further interrelations:

Collection improvement for Happy Service by Improving the Freshness that supports the objective: Selling the Highest Quality Natural and Organic Products Available as well as Creating ongoing win-win partnerships with suppliers. This combination support the �Improve the awareness about the industry� because this study will help to know the practices that are performing in different places and will provide the opportunity to implement it to provide the Happy customer Services.

The Customer service improvement by Establishing the Win-Win Situation by Quality control supports: Satisfying and Delighting Customers, Promoting the health of stakeholders through healthy eating education. And Caring about Communities and Environment. That is related to improvement of employees and departments because learning polish the skills that will improve the services.

The Quality (including service) improvements by Catering the Customer needs by Outsourcing the Customer Service Executive domain because it is observed that outsourcing lowers the expense and improves the function of the Outsourced domain that has overall positive impacts on financial Variables that support the objectives: Supporting Team Member Happiness and Excellence, Creating Wealth Through Profits & Growth. Basically the objective of outsourcing is to polish the workforce by professional that indirectly related to Cater the Customer needs objective.

The relationship is further strengthened if the above mentioned objective interrelate:

Collection improvement for Happy Service by Improving the Freshness support the objective: Selling the Highest Quality Natural and Organic Products Available as well as Creating ongoing win-win partnerships with our suppliers.

Customer service improvement by Establishing the Win-Win Situation by Quality control supports: Satisfying and Delighting the Customers, Promoting the health of stakeholders through healthy eating education. And Caring about Communities and Environment

The Quality (including service) improvements by Catering the Customer needs by Outsourcing the Customer Service Executive domain because it is observed that outsourcing lowers the expense and improves the function of the Outsourced domain that has overall positive impacts on financial Variables that support the objectives: Supporting Team Member Happiness and Excellence, Creating Wealth Through Profits & Growth.

The relationship is clear among Providing good Service, Establishing the Win-Win Situation, Cater the Customer needs with the previous objective that is Collection improvement, Customer service improvement and Quality improvements.

The Collection improvement for Happy Service.

The Customer service improvement by Establishing the Win-Win Situation.

The Quality improvements by Cater the Customer needs.

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