Whole Foods is ready to revolutionize the way its customers shop … with coupons. Yes, coupons. The upscale supermarket is counting on this age-old…
Whole Foods is ready to revolutionize the way its customers shop ... with coupons.
Yes, coupons. The upscale supermarket is counting on this age-old strategy to attract new customers, albeit through an app on their phone.
The newly announced update to the Whole Foods app dominated the company’s earnings call on Wednesday after the company announced record sales for the last quarter. During the first quarter ending on 17 January, its sales increased 3% to $4.8bn and its earnings per share 46 cents.
“We delivered record sales of $4.8bn this quarter and are pleased with the progress we have made on our nine-point plan outlined in November,” said Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. “We improved our cost structure, stepped up our value efforts, and are excited to announce today the national launch of digital coupons within our mobile app.”
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Whole Foods to report earnings of about 40 cents a share and $4.81bn in revenue.
While Whole Foods’s earnings exceeded expectations on Wednesday, its shares were down 45% over the past 12 months.
As demand for organic produce has been on the rise, Whole Foods has been looking for ways to set itself apart and make sure it is attracting a wide array of shoppers. It has especially struggled to shake off the “whole paycheck” image that comes from its high prices, and appeal to lower-income shoppers. As a result it has launched 365 by Whole Foods, a chain of less-expensive stores to compete with the likes of Trader Joe’s.
Coupons could be another way to lure in the penny-pinchers or those trying to make ends meet on a tight budget.
According to Whole Foods, coupons were one of the top requests by the app’s users.
Providing coupons on an app is a smart move by Whole Foods as it provides the company with data on its customers. The company described app updates as “tools sharpening”. In quarters to come, analysts will be able to see the company using the data, Whole Foods said.
The new app through which the coupons will be available had a “soft launch” at the end of January and, according to the company, has received favorable reviews. Whole Foods suppliers can also use the app to get coupons for its products to the users. According to Whole Foods, there is “a lot of interest”. They would not comment further on how many or which specific suppliers might offer coupons.
Click here to view full article