A lot of the deals at Whole Foods have been built around the brand itself.
The store chain has a reputation for offering fresh food that is a bit more expensive than what’s available in many grocery stores.
But those are two different things, says Adam Johnson, chief economist at Wedbush Securities.
He believes Whole Foods has developed a reputation as an environmentally conscious business.
“It’s not going to be just Whole Foods that’s doing it,” he says.
“If you go to Walmart or Target or Target’s online store, you’re going to find some of the same items, and they’re probably a little cheaper than what Whole Foods is offering.”
And if that doesn’t work, Johnson says, there are other ways to buy groceries online.
“The brands that are selling through Whole Foods are the ones that offer a more economical product, and the brands that have been selling through Walmart or Walmart’s online stores are those that offer lower prices.”
If you go into Whole Foods, you might be more interested in what they’ve got in stock than what they’re selling in the store, says Johnson.
He adds that Whole Foods may be selling a product that’s not in the stores or it may be available for purchase at Walmart’s site.
Johnson also says Whole Foods’ approach to pricing may be a sign of success.
He says that if you buy something at Whole Food and then go to Target or Walmart or another place that is selling something else at a higher price, it could be that the brand is doing a better job of keeping up with its competitors.
“I think that it’s definitely a good thing that we have the ability to have both price competition and price stability in the marketplace,” Johnson says.
Whole Foods shoppers might be seeing prices drop in a hurry, especially as their local grocery store stocks increase.
Johnson says the company’s strategy for pricing is a mix of pricing flexibility and price elasticity.
He likens it to an insurance policy.
You buy insurance that’s cheaper than your deductible.
But you also buy a policy that you know is going to cover your medical expenses.
You also have the flexibility of pricing what you’re getting at the time.
“In the end, what you buy is what you get,” Johnson said.
He cautions that there is a chance that Whole Food’s pricing will be subject to market forces.
For example, if the stock market goes up and Whole Foods can sell a lot of food at a low price, that could lead to some shoppers taking the risk that prices may rise.
Johnson adds that the company has been able to sell more than 40 million cases of food through its website in the past year, and that it is expected to sell an additional 60 million cases over the next few months.
Whole Food will have to adjust prices to maintain the same quality, as the store’s website may get hacked or if the store gets too busy.
But Johnson says that is unlikely to be an issue in the near term.
“They’re probably going to try to keep prices low enough that there’s enough people shopping that they don’t have to resort to all-day-long shopping,” he said.
The company has faced backlash in recent months for its pricing.
Earlier this month, shoppers complained that Whole Fresh Food was selling more than twice the price of comparable grocery stores, according to The New York Times.
In the last month, Whole Foods announced it was lowering prices to make up for some of those complaints.
Whole Fresh Foods will have more to say about how it plans to manage pricing later this week.