Struggling Whole Foods Pushes Cheaper Image

Chain's 'Whole Paycheck' nickname becomes albatross in downturn
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 6:00 PM CDT
A London policeman walks past the Whole Foods Market in London's Kensington High Street, west London Friday June 1, 2007.    (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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(Newser) – Whole Foods is attempting to lose its reputation for high prices as shoppers increasingly look for thrift, the New York Times reports. The economic slump has changed shopping patterns: A July survey estimated that 20% of US shoppers have switched to cheaper grocery stores. Whole Foods has cut prices and offers employee tours with tips for bargain-hunting.

Exec Walter Robb emphasized the firm’s attempts to lose its “Whole Paycheck” nickname. “I’m getting a little tired of that tag around our neck,” he said. “We are a lot more competitive than people give us credit for. We challenge anyone on like items.” Demurred a customer who’d taken the tour: “It was only cheap if you were a vegetarian willing to eat beans and tofu.”