Whole Foods Broadening Its Horizons

From The Motley Fool (registration required), news that Whole Foods is planning to broaden it’s business plan:

The Austin, Texas-based grocery chain outfit is going to launch a different sort of store in West Hollywood, Calif., in October. Rather than selling the company’s usual fare of all-natural foodstuffs, the new concept will tout organic and environmentally friendly clothing and housewares, world music, and books and magazines concerned with sustainable living.

My initial reaction was that this makes sense for a company positioning itself as a “green Wal-Mart”: just as Wal-Mart moved from consumer goods to groceries with its SuperCenters, Whole Foods seems to be doing the same thing in reverse (and, of course, with much more style). I realize their are some problems with this analogy, as Whole Foods is not a low-priced retailer, but there is the “big box” similarity. Perhaps I’m being too harsh (and I do occasionally shop there)…

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