Talk:Whole Foods Market/Archive 1

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Source Request

"That being said, Whole Foods has been consistantly cited for workers rights abuses, such as those pertaining to wage, "union busting" tactics, nepotism, and unfair dismissal."

Source(s)? Will remove if none are forthcoming. Mr. Jones 11:45, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

What are whole foods?

Should this article describe what is meant by 'whole foods'? Is it synonymous with 'natural food'? Also, I understand that 'whole foods store' is used generically in some countries. Someone care to elaborate? Dforest 06:54, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't know that there's any convenient catchall definition, but I've shopped in Whole Foods and it seems to me to be a cross between a "healthier grocery store" (i.e. they make a point to stock many organic/free range food and healthy alternatives) and a gourmet grocery store. · Katefan0(scribble) 18:18, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
That's like having an article about Safeway describe what is meant by 'Safe Way.' It's the name of the store. As far as the generic term 'Whole Foods Store' I assume this is meant the same way 'Coke' is used in some places as a catch-all term for soda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.132.0.250 (talkcontribs) 21:07, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
"Whole foods" and "Whole Foods Markets" are two different things. We need a whole foods article, and Whole_foods needs to NOT redirect to Whole_foods_market, especially given that a good percentage of the food sold at Whole Foods isn't whole at all (they sell plenty of processed, refined, and/or prepackaged food products). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.181.43.251 (talkcontribs) 04:51, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Oxford American Dictionary defines "whole food" as a noun for "food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artifical substances." Dictionary.com defines it as "a natural food especially when grown organically," with credit to Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. It is a term used in agriculture that existed before Whole Foods Market and continues to be used outside of the context of the business. (I don't have a link for this definition because I'm copying it out of the print version.) In fact, I've unlinked both Whole_foods and Whole_Foods and built a new stub at Whole_foods with what little I can contribute while at work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.191.23.51 (talkcontribs) 22:20, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Actually, Whole Foods Market has cleanliness standards. They don't sell products with ingredients that have been linked to health concerns, pesticides on conventional produce not counted as ingredients. Processing does not make a food unclean per se, nor does refining or prepackaging. What is a "good percentage"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.164.172.204 (talkcontribs) 13:56, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

It's not about cleanliness, it's about the dictionary definition of "whole foods." Whole Foods Market - the company and the products it sells - isn't representative enough of what whole foods are to be a sufficient redirect from Whole_foods. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.191.23.51 (talkcontribs) 00:53, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Addresses

What Whole Foods addresses for email are there for customers services, for feedback and for company leadership?... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Donwarnersaklad (talkcontribs) 09:52, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Try http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/contact/index.html. Zoe 09:58, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

Added to external links

A link to news and press releases for wfmi, is this ok? Geneticflyer 14:10, 4 November 2006 (UTC)Geneticflyer

Updates from inside Whole Foods Market?

First, let me introduce myself: Paige Brady, Director of Publications for Whole Foods Market. I've been asked to work with you to update our Wiki entry. We feel like we can provide some general factual info to keep it up to date and, at times, offer perspective when it seems like not all viewpoints are presented. I completely respect the Wiki process and I'm not going to make any edits to the entry unless the editing community tells me it's okay. To start, here are some hard facts that could be updated (all can be verified/referenced to the company website, specifically the financial section found here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/investor/index.html):
Key people: add A.C. Gallo and Walter Robb, Co-Presidents and COOs
Products: Edit to "Food, Natural and Organic food"
Revenue: $5.7 billion in fiscal year 2006
Employees: over 40,000
Website: www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Also, this sentence should be edited to: Whole Foods Market NASDAQ: WFMI is an Austin, Texas-based natural and organic foods grocer, which, as of December 2006, consisted of 189 locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

There is also a sentence in there that is simply wrong and should be deleted. Whole Foods Market is not certified humane, although some of the products we sell are. This sentence should be removed: "Many of their stores are certified humane by the Humane Farm Animal Care program, a collaborative program by organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).[1]"

I have other suggested edits that have more to do with feeling that the entry is biased, so I'll leave those for later discussion. Please, please, please let me know if posting this info on the Talk page is appropriate. I really want to respect the community you've created here and I'm nervous that these suggested edits may step on toes. I appreciate any guidance you can offer a novice! (I searched for an FAQ on how to edit your business' entry without getting into trouble and I couldn't find anything!) Thanks! BradyWFM 15:56, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Deleted offending sentence from above section. Reworded intro as detailed in Reuters, although I'm not sure what "natural" food means, as it has no accepted definition under FDA or USDA.

Kristan 07:36, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for pulling in the info from Reuters. "Natural" is an important distinction for Whole Foods Market, but you are correct in that there isn't an official FDA or USDA definition. A possible clarifying section could be added in the "Product Quality" section reading:

Natural
While there is no FDA or USDA specific definition of natural foods, Whole Foods Market only sells products that meet their definition of natural: minimally processed foods that are free of hydrogenated fats as well as artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives.

Would this be helpful? Reference to WFM Quality Standards, http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/index.html

BradyWFM 21:07, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Ms. Brady, since no one has objected to making this change, I added the definition of Natural to Product Quality section. You can make the change on your own next time. War17 00:13, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you! BradyWFM 18:51, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

History

Last sentence in History section said that Whole Foods has matched Trader Joe's prices. What does that have to do with history? Was there a Board decision to do this? If so, we need a citation. Does original author mean matching Trader Joe's prices in store branded items? It is certainly not true in branded items. For example, Cutie Mandarian oranges: WF - $9.99, TJ - $6.99 War17 06:49, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Anecdotally, I've seen store attempts to accomplish this locally (and make big news of this in the stores), however, searching around turned up nothing besides chat forums. I recall an NPR special on this topic of Wal-Mart driving prices down that mentions WFM [1], but the piece did not mention Trader Joes, specifically. Besides, overall, it seems a rather unimportant moment in the history of a company. Kristan 02:15, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

While we are price competitive, Whole Foods does not have a specific policy stating that our stores should match anyone else's prices. Thanks for the correction. BradyWFM 18:51, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

It would seem that greater attention to pricing is warranted as the general public view seems to be that Whole Foods is rather expensive. In particular it seems to be indicative of the greater market share for "yuppie" whole food/health food markets whereas the market was previously dominated and largely associated with "hippie" markets and co-ops. 24.5.91.143 12:26, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Distribution

The entire "Distribution" section has no references. Several months ago this section started out as a fairly innocuous statement but has evolved over the past few months to be 1) untrue and 2) biased. While I could work to edit this section for factual representation, I see no value to it being part of the article and would rather delete it altogether. If no support for this section is forthcoming, I'll remove it. Thanks. BradyWFM 19:05, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not know if the information is untrue, but how is the Distribution section bias? It reads fairly positive to me. Keeping the prices low and making money for stock holders are positive things. WLee 20:33, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I think everyone is aware of the negative press that Wal-Mart receives for the pressure they place on their vendors. Whole Foods is known for our commitment to all of our stakeholder groups — team members, customers, vendor partners, community/environment and shareholders. In John Mackey's blog, we just received a letter from one of our current vendors who was approached by Wal-Mart and made the tough decision to NOT work with them. So, I consider it biased to tie Whole Foods to Wal-Mart with wording such as "emulating retail giant Wal-Mart" and "dictating selling prices to manufacturers." Also, this section on distribution isn't accurate in other ways. Yes, we have regional distribution centers and we work with "economy of scale," but we also have local buyers in every part of the country and we have products delivered directly to the stores from local growers and vendors. Local is huge for us and should be represented in any full discussion about distribution. I can create a Distribution section that addresses all of this, but before I do I'd like to know if others believe this is valuable information to have in the Wiki article. Thanks for your question. BradyWFM 15:27, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the section is useful, especially if it talks about the relationship between distribution centers vs local vendors, though I don't know where one would find a verifiable reference about that. (Personally when I shop at WF I look for those "local" signs and would be interested to learn more about how that stuff gets there and how it is selected vs general distribution stuff). And I agree that comparisons to Wal-Mart are unnecessarily biased. Plymouths 17:52, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Took me a while to get to this, but I'm adding a new Distribution section based on the WFM annual report. Thanks for your patience! BradyWFM 19:39, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Clarifications

I would like to add the following clarifications to the article. In Product Quality, add this statement to the end of the section: "Whole Foods Market’s website details their company’s quality standards to provide clarity to customers about their criteria for selling food, dietary supplements, and personal care products.44" The reference would be to the quality standards page of the website: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/index.html

In the Environmental Involvement section, flesh out the paragraph to read: "In May 1999, Whole Foods Market joined the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).[13] Whole Foods Market was one of the first American companies to support the Marine Stewardship Council and actively participates as a stakeholder in the process. The company first introduced MSC-certified seafood in 2000. (45) A selection of Whole Foods fish products continue to be available with the MSC label." 45=http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/pr_fishforever.html

If no comments are forthcoming, I'll make these edits. Thanks. BradyWFM 20:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Those sound to me like reasonable edits with one caveat - is there any way you can rephrase "and actively participates as a stakeholder in the process"? There's nothing actively WRONG with the phrase (it looks neutral), but that kind of corpspeak just makes me twitch a little (I deal with far too much of it at my own job!). Plymouths 22:02, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I can absolutely edit that phrase. Thanks for the note. BradyWFM 13:58, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

This section is important because several purchasing practices employed by Whole Foods affect consumers. In an effort to lower overhead and costs. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 151.203.206.162 (talkcontribs) 18:45, 1 March 2007 (UTC).

Chocolate Fountain

Does anyone here think the picture of the chocolate fountain actually contributes anything meaningful to the article? I've shopped in at least a dozen whole foods stores around the country (in MA, CA, AZ, possibly in OR, PA and WA but I can't specifically recall) and I've never seen a chocolate fountain. I'm sure that chocolate fountain is real but it doesn't seem to be a typical feature of WF stores. I think it should be replaced with something more representative of the chain as a whole - maybe a picture of a produce section showing all the "local" "organic" and "conventional" signs, or a picture of a wine or cheese section. Does anyone think I'll have a problem if I go down to my local WF and try to snap a couple of pics like this? Plymouths 17:58, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I have never seen a chocolate fountain either. But it could have special meaning in the Autin store. Maybe Ms. Brady can enlighten. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by War17 (talkcontribs) 16:18, 2 February 2007 (UTC).
There is a chocolate fountain in the landmark Austin store and probably in some of the other larger, newer stores. That said, I'm not attached to it in the least and I like the idea of having an image that better represents all of our stores. We have some nice images on our website and I'd be glad to provide approval to use one of those. I don't know how to post an image myself, but let me know what you need and I'll get you the file. Thanks! BradyWFM 14:31, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Community Involvement

I think this section needs to be expanded. The company does a lot more than is currently listed here. Any objections to the following? The reference would be to the Community page of the WFM website: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/communitygiving.html Community Involvement: Whole Foods Market commits to a policy of donating at least five percent of their annual net profits to charitable causes. These donations are accomplished in multiple ways. Each store has the authority to donate food, labor or dollars to local not-for-profit organizations. Individual stores also hold 5% Days approximately 4 times a year where they donate 5% of that day's net sales to a local or regional non-profit or educational organization. In 2005, the company created two foundations designed to effect solutions to global problems. The Animal Compassion Foundation strives to improve the quality of life for farm animals and the Whole Planet Foundation works to combat poverty in rural communities around the world through microlending. In 2006, the company announced that it would be providing $10 million a year in low-interest loans to local agricultural producers. BradyWFM 19:34, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Expansion

There are rumors that Wholefoods Market might expand to Puerto Rico --BoricuaPR 01:14, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I haven't heard that rumor myself -- and if I had any behind-the-scenes company knowledge about it, I wouldn't be able to tell you anyway! We are only allowed to discuss store location information that has been officially announced to the investment community through a press release. To learn about the stores under development, you can check out the current list at: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/newstores.html. Also, we usually announce any new stores in our quarterly earnings release. The next one is scheduled for February 21, 2007. Thanks, BradyWFM 17:46, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Opening Description

While the opening segment of the article is accurate, I feel that it leaves out an important part of what makes Whole Foods the company that it is -- namely anything about being a mission-driven company. I see that the article on Patagonia clothing company mentions that it is a socially responsible business. I think it would be valuable for readers to learn that in the opening segment on Whole Foods. Here is my stab at an unbiased and footnoted additional paragraph:

"The company is considered a socially-responsible business. In the eighth-annual Harris Interactive/The Wall Street Journal ranking of the world's best and worst corporate reputations, Whole Foods placed 12th and received the best score of any company for social responsibility.[ref: Wall Street Journal, How Boss's Deeds Buff a Firm's Reputation, January 31, 2007] Walter Robb, Whole Foods Market co-President, recently explained, “The deepest core of Whole Foods, the heartbeat, if you will, is this mission, this stakeholder philosophy: customers first, then team members, balanced with what’s good for other stakeholders, such as shareholders, vendors, the community, and the environment. If I put our mission in simple terms, it would be, No. 1, to change the way the world eats, and No. 2, to create a workplace based on love and respect. We believe business should meet the needs of all the stakeholders, as opposed to operating it for shareholders.” [ref: One on One, Whole Foods' Second Banana on Being Green, BoardMember.com]"

Does this work? thoughts? BradyWFM 22:49, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I think that's WAY too long and detailed for an introductory section. Using the example you gave of Patagonia (clothing) you gave I think just your first line "The company is considered a socially-responsible business" should be in the first paragraph. I'm not sure where in the article the rest of it should go - maybe a new "social responsibility" heading can be created.Plymouths 01:17, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

I hear that and would be fine splitting it out into two sections. I think one of the reasons I put it all up front was because I personally find the History section boring and think it breaks up the flow of good information about the company. Are people really that interested in the company's historical timeline? Seems to be standard to have the History section first on these articles, but could we move it to the bottom? That would make it much easier for people to find out interesting information about the company. Or if History needs to be first, maybe we could create a paragraph or two that talks about the highlights without going into the timline format. Thoughts? BradyWFM 13:56, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, the introduction should be brief and only highlight the company's main facts and figures. The history section needs a revamp, as you've pointed out, it's not very substantive since it only lists points in time. I never liked it as a timeline, but since there's a lot of information in it, I didn't want to touch it considering the time it would take to revamp it. Clipper471 05:30, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'll post the single sentence in the Intro and then add a section for the rest. I'll also start working on a revised History section and will post in Talk for your review. I'm sure I have something internal to draw on. Clipper471, I really appreciate all of the effort you put in to keep this article in great shape. I try to do my edits correctly, but it is a comforting feeling to know that you will come and clean up anything I mess up. Also, I can't figure out how to put the section information in the "edit summary" so that it shows up in light gray like yours. I'm open to a tip! Thanks, BradyWFM 17:48, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

External Links

I don't see the appropriateness of having Whole Workers Unite in the external links. I checked out the Wikipedia guidance on "Links normally to be avoided" and I believe it meets two of these: "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research." and "Links to blogs and personal webpages, except those written by a recognized authority." This site might have had some pertinent value when it was created several years ago, but it has evolved into simply a blog/forum for disgruntled current and former team members. I think it's fine for them to have a space to discuss their issues, but I don't think it qualifies as a link from the official Whole Foods Wiki entry. If I don't hear otherwise, I'll remove it. Thanks, BradyWFM 19:06, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

It seems fairly relevant to the labor section. It discusses the issue from another point of view. I think that ultimately if a better site does that then it should be included instead of Whole Workers Unite. I think it's a rough source at best, but it does give an opinion that seems reasonable. It links to the Christian Science Monitor as well as NBC5.com. There is one simple way to improve the information that is there and that is to expand each link as a claim onto the "official Whole Foods Wiki entry". Expanding the sections to involve the reported news as it concerns Whole Foods would be a welcome addition to the article. Maybe you can start work on this new section showing this side of the story in detail? 24.249.204.164 08:45, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Maybe my entry was unclear. The article does link to Whole Workers Unite as well as the Union and the Labor Board as references/notes to back up statements made in the Labor Relations section of the article. There are numerous "other side of the story" links in the references/notes section. My comment above was referring to the separate section called "External Links" that appears at the end of the article. I see no reason to include an additional link to Whole Workers Unite in that section. Thanks, BradyWFM 12:57, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

New History Section

As promised, here is the an updated history section that moves the article away from the timeline format. This is a draft, so please provide suggestions. While some major newspapers have written about our history, the information all originates from our company's records, so I am thinking that we can reference the company website for this whole section. Let me know if that sounds kosher.

History

The Early Years

In 1978, twenty-five year old college dropout John Mackey and Rene Lawson, his twenty-one year old girlfriend, borrowed $45,000 from family and friends to open the doors of a small natural foods store called SaferWay in Austin, Texas (the name being a spoof of Safeway, which operated stores under their own name in Austin at that time). When the couple got booted out of their apartment for storing food products there, they decided to simply live at the store. Since it was zoned commercial, there was no shower stall. Instead, they bathed in the Hobart dishwasher, which had an attached water hose.

Two years later, John Mackey 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. At 12,500 square feet and a staff of 19, this store was quite large in comparison to the standard health food store of the time.

Less than a year later on Memorial Day in 1981, the worst flood in 70 years devastated the city of Austin. Caught in the flood waters, the store’s inventory was wiped out and most of the equipment was damaged. The losses were approximately $400,000 and Whole Foods Market had no insurance. Customers and neighbors voluntarily joined the staff to repair and clean up the damage. Creditors, vendors and investors all provided breathing room for the store to get back on its feet and it re-opened only 28 days after the flood.

Expansion

Beginning in 1984, Whole Foods began its expansion out of Austin, first to Houston and Dallas and then into New Orleans with the purchase of Whole Foods Company in 1988. In 1989, the company expanded to the West Coast with a store in Palo Alto, California. While continuing to open new stores, the company fueled rapid growth by acquiring other natural foods chains throughout the 90’s: Wellspring Grocery of North Carolina, Bread & Circus of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Foods Markets of Los Angeles, Bread of Life of Northern California, Fresh Fields Markets on the East Coast and in the Midwest, Florida Bread of Life stores, Detroit area Merchant of Vino stores, and Nature’s Heartland of Boston. The company started the decade with additional acquisitions of Food for Thought in Northern California and Harry’s Farmers Market stores in Atlanta.

In 2001, Whole Foods moved into Manhattan, generating a good deal of interest from the media and financial industries. 2002 saw an expansion into Canada and in 2004, Whole Foods expanded into the United Kingdom with the acquisition of seven Fresh & Wild stores.


Historical Financial Highlights

• January, 1992: Whole Foods goes public, trading shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market as WFMI.

• November, 1993: WFMI stock splits 2-for-1.

• June, 2001: WFMI stock splits 2-for-1.

• October, 2001: Moody's upgrades WFMI debt ratings.

• May, 2002: WFMI added to S&P MidCap 400 Index.

• December, 2002: WFMI added to the NASDAQ-100 Index.

• January, 2004: Whole Foods Market paid its first dividend ever, 15 cents on each share of the company's stock.

• November, 2004: Board of Directors approves 27% increase in quarterly dividend to $0.19 per share.

• March, 2005: WFMI joins the ranks of the Fortune 500, entering the list for the first time at position 479.

• April, 2005: Board of Directors approves 32% increase in quarterly dividend to $0.25 per share.

• November, 2005: Board of Directors approves 20% increase in quarterly dividend to $0.30 per share and announces special $4.00 per share dividend.

• December, 2005: Whole Foods Market stock splits 2-for-1, the third stock split in the Company’s history.

• November, 2006: Whole Foods Market's stock dropped 18 percent after the company lowered its 2007 sales forecasts.

• November, 2006: The company's salary cap was raised from 14 times the average pay of a full-time worker to 19 times the average pay. This is up from the original eight-times cap that was set in the late 80’s. The company also announced that CEO John Mackey will receive a salary of one dollar (started January 1, 2007), and will forgo any future stock option awards.


Growth Since IPO

1991: $92.5 million in revenue; 10 stores in 3 states; 1,100 employees

2006: $5.6 billion in revenue; 186 stores in 3 countries; 41,500 employees

2010 targets: $12 billion in revenue; 300 stores; possible expansion in Europe; 50,000 employees


I look forward to hearing your feedback. Thanks, BradyWFM 21:16, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Judging by the lack of comments, I'm assuming that this history section isn't worrying anyone. I'll go ahead and post it next week if I don't receive any comments over the weekend. Thanks, BradyWFM 19:25, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Be careful not to delete any information while revising. Clipper471 16:34, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I'll do my best. I assume you are referring to the newest info about Wild Oats and the awards. I plan to create separate paragraphs for those. In my opinion, I don't think we should list each new store opening. I know these are big events in the communities where they open, but so many new stores are slated to open over the next few years, it would be excessive to list them unless they are a new direction for the company -- such as opening in London later this year. Thanks, BradyWFM 16:43, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I have to say I dislike the idea of sourcing an entire section only to the company's website. If it's just a recreation of material that can be found there then a link to the site should be provided instead - wikipedia doesn't exist to advertise for the company and people who want more info can go find it if a link is provided. If the information hasn't been published in places other than the company's website then I don't think it counts as notable. (I did note that other sources were provided for the Wild Oats acquisition so I'm sure other sources can be found for much of the rest)
The financial section is boring boring boring. Much more information than I think most people want to know (does anyone really care NOW that the stock split 14 years ago?) - and those who do want to know can follow a link to find out. Also, it's a little unbalanced that there's a bullet about salary caps being raised but no bullet about them originally being CREATED (and that was the one bullet point in that section I found really interesting). I imagine that's just an oversight. I really like the old timeline better - it had the information I wanted to know. For example when I was a kid my parents used to shop at Bread and Circus for years. I knew at some point it has been acquired by Whole Foods. I went to the article to find out when. I could easily scan down the list of bullet points and figure out when that was. Now in order to find out I have to read several paragraphs.
I don't want to be totally negative here - there is some significant improvement that has been made by putting things in paragraph format and if one were generally interested in history it would be a good way to get an overview. The "early years" section especially is an enjoyable read.
Also, the last paragraph of the "expansion" section is mysteriously out of chronological order while the rest of it appears to be chronological. I'm not entirely sure how to fix that while preserving the flow of things, but it bugged me a little. Oh, and having the picture of the NYC whole foods next to the "early years" section seems out of place as well!
Sorry for the delay in commenting - I've had a busy week and I've mostly been away from wikipedia :) Plymouths 08:04, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

What?! You have other things to do instead of spending all your time on wikipedia! ;-)

Addressing your thoughts: I do have some newspaper sources for some of the history, so I'll pull those references and add them when I get a chance. Credit where credit is due -- the Wild Oats references came from Clipper471 previously. I personally find the financial section boring too, but a lot of that was included in the original and I thought it needed to be more complete if it was going to stay in there. If there is a consensus of us who want to remove it, that's fine with me. As for the timeline format, I find that uninteresting. More importantly, though, I think the timeline format kind of encouraged people to add current events info about store openings, media stories, etc. just because they could easily add a date and the info that is important to them. For example, I know it can be a big deal in a community to have a new Whole Foods store open. Heck, we hype it like crazy and they get a ton of local media. But, in the overall scheme of a Wikipedia article, it's not important that Whole Foods opened a store there. So, to my point, I think the new paragraph format provides a more structured framework that will discourage those types of entries. Of course, I could be wrong! Also, we do reference the Expansion section to an exhaustive timeline on the WFM website so people can go there to check out more detailed entries.

And, if I can find the time to figure out how to load images, I'll see if I can get a picture of the original store to add for the early years section.

A huge "thank you" to Clipper471 for your edits and corrections. I think your reorganization of some of the material works well. I hope you aren't cursing me too much! Thanks, BradyWFM 14:01, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Labor Relations

I need some feedback in working to make the Labor Relations section more balanced and unbiased. The first paragraph is fine, and then it goes into Whole Foods and John Mackey's positions on unions. It's certainly true that we are a non-union company and Mackey has a clear viewpoint on why unions would not be good for our company. Here's my issue: I could go into detail defending the company's position on specific issues or we could make this section more general. For instance, the strawberry workers issue is over 10 years old. I can spend a lot of "ink" explaining the company's perspective on that, but is it worth it? Should the Wiki really get into details on a specific incident that happened so long ago? The union vote in Madison makes more sense to include since it happened more recently. I would simply add the company perspective in addition to the union perspective that currently exists. Also, the quote from John about unions and herpes is trotted out by every hack writing a column, but the truth is he said that in 1983 -- over 20 years ago -- and the 19-page booklet Beyond Unions has been out of print for almost as long. Just because this is a colorful quote, it shouldn't outweigh more recent and pertinent statements by our leadership regarding unions and Whole Foods Market. Any thoughts on this before I dive into revising this section? Thanks, BradyWFM 19:38, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Obviously if the information is outdated, it should be updated. References to new information are always good. Clipper471 16:35, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I worked on this with new references and removed material that wasn't current. Here's the suggested updated section. The first paragraph is the same but I included it for ease of review.

Labor relations

Whole Foods Market has been included in Fortune magazine's annual list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For"[24] every year since the list's inception in 1998, most recently at No. 5 in 2007.[1][25] Among its primary values, the company lists "supporting team member happiness and excellence."[26] The company argues that its treatment of workers obviates the needs for unions: full-time workers are given free health insurance that includes a personal wellness account, and the starting pay at most stores is highly competitive.[27]

CEO John Mackey, a libertarian, makes no secret of his opposition to unions in his company. (ref: Marketplace) Mr. Mackey believes that unions encourage an adversarial relationship between management and labor. (ref: Marketplace & the Economist) An attempt at unionizing in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2002 was met with resistance from store management.[31] and Whole Foods was accused by labor activists of union busting.[28] A 2004 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board upheld the actions of Whole Foods at the Madison store,[32] although many workers considered their tactics illegal and unethical. Further attempts at unionizing Whole Foods Market stores have been unsuccessful.[33] Michael Henneberry of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union said they failed to attract the interest of the employees at Berkeley's Whole Foods despite rallying there for seven years. (ref: Contra Costa Times)

I had a LOT more details but I decided this stripped down version gets the point across and interested readers can go to the footnotes to link for more. Let me know if this works. Thanks, BradyWFM 18:55, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I think that looks great! Plymouths 21:42, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm confused. Clipper471, you stated above that updating the information was good and I thought that meant you agreed that we could remove the strawberry info that is no longer current (and that wasn't ever unbiased). You didn't make a comment on the posted revision above so I thought it was cool. But when I posted it you inserted that old paragraph again. If you let me know that you didn't agree with its removal, I would have spent the time to include the WFM perspective in the rewrite. What are your thoughts on this? Is there an editing process that I'm missing here? BradyWFM 14:25, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm really sorry that Clipper471 isn't willing to engage in a civil conversation about edits on this page. In the interest of goodwill, I will not remove the paragragh in question again but will instead work on editing the strawberry information to add the company perspective. BradyWFM 21:57, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Ms Brady, you should restore your addition since Clipper471 did not give a reason for his edit. He is an editor and not a content provider. He deleted the content of my addition on another topic, and I put the content back and asked him on his Talk page why he made the change. I knew the content was accurate. After editing and un-editing several times, he finally posted a lack of citation for his edit. Once I provided the citation, he left my content along. You have to be persistent with an editor like him who does not bother discussing a change before makign it. WLee 16:16, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Toddross: Just wanted to let you know why I removed your addition to the Labor Relations section. While I fully support your right as a publisher to print this in your own online publication, this personal account doesn't meet the guidelines for Wikipedia for unbiased material. Given your own editorial note on your site reading: "...we realize that this is the opinion of but one former employee," I think you already understand that this is a personal personnel issue. Thanks, BradyWFM 22:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Stakeholder Philosophy

When the Awards & Recognition section was created, it left a quote about the stakeholder philosophy dangling in there but it didn't fit the section. I've moved it to a new section and added another quote to flesh it out. Thanks, BradyWFM 18:27, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Conflict of interest?

Maybe it's just me, and I don't see any other comments about it, but the large amount of editing of this article by a Whole Foods executive looks like a huge conflict of interest. Ms. Brady properly introduced herself and has submitted proposed changes for comment, the edits sound fairly neutral, and are properly referenced, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. That being said, the appearance of a conflict of interest definitely exists.

I'm not trying to stir up trouble — I like Whole Foods Market, after all — but this situation just doesn't look good. —Travistalk 19:07, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

We'll certainly see if she makes a fuss about information from the CEO posting on a yahoo message board deriding Wild Oats. 68.14.210.162 22:31, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I got a link to this page from an article on Slashdot. After examining her edits, and this talk page, I'm not opposed to her edits. That is assuming that she continues to follow wikipedia's rules. Keep in mind the type who shop at whole foods... if they anger the Wikipedia community, it could cost them a lot of money in lost customers. I think she'll stay above board with her edits. -GregNorc (talk) 00:07, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Hope it isn't a conflict of interest for me to talk about myself! When I started posting to this article, there was a good deal of inaccurate or incomplete information. I have tried to be even handed in any edits and welcome any dialogue with members who feel I am not being fair. I really appreciate all the edits done on the Yahoo postings issue. Glad to see the Wiki community coming together to make sure the info presented stays balanced. I hope that others will continue to follow Whole Foods and add new info as appropriate. The additions to the entry did get lop-sided with me doing all of the additions and edits. Glad to have some company out here! BradyWFM 16:08, 19 July 2007 (UTC)