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Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) and one-hour grocery delivery service Instacart
announced today a new partnership that enables customers to have Whole Foods Market
products delivered in as little as one hour. Customers will soon also have the convenient
option to place orders via Instacart and pick up their order at a local participating Whole
Foods Market store.
The two companies will pilot the in-store pickup option at select Austin and Boston
stores in the next month. Instacart delivers from Whole Foods Market in all of the
15 cities it currently serves: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Boulder, Colorado, Chicago,
Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon, San
Francisco, San Jose, California, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. In the coming
months, Instacart and Whole Foods Market expect to expand the in-store pickup
option to all of the cities Instacart serves.
Through its partnership with Instacart, Whole Foods Market can offer its customers the
convenience of delivery without having to handle the logistics themselves.
"Instacart makes it extremely easy for our customers to buy Whole Foods Market products
from 15 cities and have them quickly delivered-whether buying fresh ingredients for dinner
tonight or sending healthy foods to loved ones in another city," said Walter Robb, co-CEO of
Whole Foods Market. "We are thrilled to add this additional convenience for our customers."
Instacart and Whole Foods Market expect to build on this foundation of services in the
coming months to create more solutions for simple, convenient online grocery shopping,
delivery and pickup.
"Instacart and Whole Foods Market are two companies that share a common vision to
create great grocery shopping experiences," said Apoorva Mehta, CEO and founder of
Instacart. "Whole Foods Market is our most requested shopping destination, and we're
happy to be working together to create a seamless, quick option for customers with busy
By ordering at or via the Instacart mobile app, Whole Foods Market
customers simply select their zip code, add items to a virtual cart, and then choose
a delivery window (within one hour, within two hours, or at a scheduled time) and
check out. Instacart Personal Shoppers confirm incoming orders on their
smartphones, shop for the items at Whole Foods Market stores, and then deliver
orders to customers in the designated delivery timeframe.
Whole Foods Market will be the first national Instacart partner to offer convenient in-store
pickup. Whole Foods Market customers will use the Instacart website or app to order and
instead of specifying home delivery times, they will be able to select in-store pickup.
Via Instacart, Whole Foods Market customers can save grocery lists for fast, easy shopping
and automated ordering of regularly purchased products. Instacart also offers a Whole
Foods Market recipe database and other great sources with the ability to auto-generate
grocery lists for those dishes for Whole Foods Market customers.

To celebrate the partnership, Instacart and Whole Foods Market are offering shoppers the
chance to win free groceries for one year. Customers will receive hidden game pieces in
Instacart delivery bags beginning Sept. 12, with five chances to win.

March 30 -- Whole Foods Market and Instacart have expanded their partnership, launching
this week in Orange County, building on the 17 existing metros where consumers use
Instacart's delivery service to order from Whole Foods Market stores. Using Instacart,
Orange County residents can now purchase and have their groceries delivered in as little as
one hour from Whole Foods Market's Newport Beach and Tustin locations.
Whole Foods Market offers delivery via Instacart at prices that are the same as
those shoppers find in-stores.
"We've seen how much our customers love this fast and convenient way to receive their
groceries right to their door, so we are thrilled to offer this service to our Orange County
community," said Patrick Bradley, president of Whole Foods Market's Southern Pacific
Region. "Instacart has given us a way to provide customers with the highest-quality, fresh
and healthy groceries, even when they can't make it into our stores."
"Instacart and Whole Foods Market are committed to providing our customers with the
easiest and most seamless grocery shopping experience possible. We're excited to start with
these two new stores in Orange County and look forward to continuing to innovate with
Whole Foods Market in the services that we can bring to customers," said Apoorva Mehta,
founder and CEO of Instacart.
By ordering at or via the Instacart mobile app, Whole Foods Market
customers add items to a virtual cart, choose a delivery window (within one hour, within two
hours, or at a scheduled time), check out, and receive their orders from Instacart personal
shoppers. Additionally, with the Instacart Deals platform, Whole Foods Market shoppers
can take advantage of special deals and discounts on their favorite products. Virtual
coupons from Instacart Deals are immediately applied, and customers see their savings at
checkout. Customers with the Whole Foods Market iOS app can browse thousands of
recipes, create shopping lists, and then conveniently order the ingredients from the
Instacart app. The seamless integration offers recipe inspiration, preparation and purchase
in one simple, user-friendly experience.

Instacart Inc.

is cutting the fees it pays couriers who shuttle groceries in several cities, the
latest Silicon Valley on-demand startup trying to contain costs in a tightened funding
informed drivers in recent weeks in some cities, including the San Francisco
and Los Angeles metro areas, about new rates that in some cases will require workers

to nearly triple their deliveries to make the same pay, according to emails reviewed by
The Wall Street Journal.
Contract drivers in the company's hometown of San Francisco who collect
prepacked bags from grocery stores will earn $1.50 a drop-off, a cut of 63% from
the previous guarantee of $4. Instacart is also slashing by 50% to 25 cents the
commission it pays for each item in an order drivers collect when shopping in
"We have made some recent rate changes to reduce variability in how much shoppers
earn, and we are constantly innovating to help shoppers get more orders," Instacart said.
"After these changes our shoppers will earn, on average, an effective rate of $15 to $20
per hour," including tips.
In its emails to drivers, Instacart said drivers could still earn "$18 or even $20 or more per
hour" based on its expectations for tips.
Other startups with apps that summon contractors to deliver food, run errands or give
rides are scrambling to maintain their business models. The companies say pay should
increase over time as they bundle more orders into each route.
Many of these companies, such as Instacart, rely on a contracted labor force that pays
for its own gas, insurance and other fees, helping to keep costs down. But competitive
pressure from well-heeled companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Inc. is
forcing startups to rein in costs.
Until last summer, venture-capital investors were driving up valuations and pushing
startups to grow at any cost. Many investors have pulled back in recent months
because of a volatile stock market and tepid reception for initial public offerings, forcing
companies to focus more on the bottom line.
Food-delivery startup DoorDash Inc., which struggled to raise new funding at a higher
valuation, recently said it would lower the fees it shares with delivery people in Los
Angeles to $5 from $6. Shuddle Inc., a ride-hailing service for families, told customers
last month it would raise average prices by 20%. And since December, ride-hailing
company Sidecar Inc. and valet-parking app Zirx Consumer Services Inc. shut down
their main businesses.
Founded in 2012, Instacart has worked to avoid the financial blunders of dot-com bust
Webvan Group Inc., a startup that burned through $800 million in cash before ceasing
operations in 2001. Webvan relied on expensive refrigerated warehouses with high-tech
conveyor belts to deliver groceries to big trucks.

instead dispatches couriers to stores such as Whole Foods or Safeway to pick up

groceries, avoiding the need to stock shelves or manage trucks. At some Whole Foods
stores, Instacart has embedded shoppers who use devoted checkout lanes and pass off
orders to drivers.

The company, which operates in 17 U.S. markets, makes money from delivery fees, as
well charging more than retail prices for items at some stores and pocketing the
difference or through commissions paid by the grocer.
This model, along with the promise of simplifying delivery through smartphones apps,
attracted big-name venture-capital investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital
that in late 2014 raised Instacart's valuation by fivefold to $2 billion.
But Instacart has signaled its business of delivering fresh groceries in as little as one
hour needs revamping.
In December, Instacart raised the delivery fee for customers to $5.99 from $3.99,
and increased its annual fee for unlimited deliveries to $149 from $99. Earlier in
2015, it began converting some of its contract shoppers to part-time employees, a
costly change but one that could protect the company from potential lawsuits
about its labor classifications.
told workers the latest rate changes came after evaluating "order volume,
efficiency and delivery costs," and promised more deliveries and improved routes.

But the immediate effect is many Instacart drivers will earn less for the same deliveries,
said Josh Schwarzenbach, a driver in San Jose, Calif.
A shopping and delivery trip for 20 unique items to one customer would net him
$15 under the current rate structure, he said, but only $12.50 when the new rates
take effect next week, not including tips. Though Instacart is raising the minimum
pay for a shopping and delivery trip to $7.50 from $5, the lower per-item
commission makes earning more than $10 a delivery more difficult, he said.
With larger orders, the differential widens. A 40-item delivery today pays $25, excluding
tips, but would drop to $17.50 in the new structure, based on a Journal calculation.
"It'll be a lot harder to make what I earn now," Mr. Schwarzenbach said.
He said Instacart used to guarantee drivers $10 an hour regardless of whether they
made a delivery, before switching to fees based on the number of deliveries. Instacart
also cut to 50 cents from 70 cents the per-item fee it pays drivers for Costco Wholesale
Corp. items, while maintaining the $10-a-delivery minimum.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) took its budding relationship with Instacart one
step further last month. The leading natural foods grocer made an undisclosed
investment in the grocery delivery start-up, according to Re/Code, and terms of the deal
also included a five-year delivery partnership.
By taking a stake in Instacart, Whole Foods is doubling down on a delivery strategy and
a partnership that began a year and a half ago.
In 2014, Whole Foods signed up as Instacart's first national partner, allowing one-hour
delivery through the service in 15 metropolitan areas, which has since expanded to 16.
A year later, management estimated that Whole Foods customers had saved 970,000
hours by ordering through Instacart and purchasing millions of apples, bananas, eggs,
and other items through the delivery service. Fresh produce proved especially popular.

Whole Foods did not provide a dollar amount for Instacart orders, but a range of $50 to
$100 million seems like a reasonable estimate based on the figures it shared. While that
is still less than 1% of annual revenue, it represents a growth opportunity, and the
percentage is skewed since Instacart is not available at all Whole Foods locations.
Co-CEO Walter Robb touted the partnership:
The results speak for themselves. Our customers clearly love having this convenient
shopping option, and Whole Foods Market will continue to provide our shoppers with
innovative new choices that deliver great shopping experiences and help make their
lives easier.

In the company's recent earnings call, Robb said many of its stores are "seeing
[Instacart] sales as a percentage of total store in the mid-to-high single digits." With
performances like that, furthering this partnership with Instacart has the potential to be a
significant driver of sales growth.
Differentiating itself
For the first time since the recession, Whole Foods reported declining sales at
established stores in its latest quarter. The sales slide has taken the stock price with it -shares are down nearly 40% in the past year, and the company has since introduced a
number of initiatives to turn around its business.
The company is opening budget-minded "365" stores targeting millennials. It has
hired renowned chef Tien Ho to improve its prepared foods department and
launch a new food truck test kitchen. Ramping up its delivery business is also a
significant opportunity.
While the Instacart partnership is by no means exclusive -- the delivery company
works with dozens of other supermarkets, including the competition -- Whole
Foods is perhaps best suited for such a service.
The company's demographic overwhelmingly skews urban and higher income -the type of customer who is most likely to be starved for time and willing to

spend a few extra bucks for the convenience of delivery. Instacart charges $5.99
for one-hour delivery and $3.99 for two-hour service.
E-commerce has also proven to be a steady growth industry, with online sales rising
about 15% a year since the recession. Because of their perishable nature, groceries
add an extra element of difficulty to deliver, but Americans are becoming increasingly
accustomed to online shopping. Amazon, the market leader, has made no secret of its
own aspirations in grocery delivery. The company sells perishables and other food items
through its Amazon Fresh service in select markets around the country, but the annual
fee of $299 has made it prohibitive for many potential customers. Wal-Mart, the nation's
leading grocery retailer, is also banking part of its recovery on a new online grocery
pick-up service that it is quickly expanding.
For Whole Foods, the growth of e-commerce and improvements in technology should
ensure that the share of orders through Instacart continues to grow. Increased
competition from rivals also makes it necessary for the company to intensify its efforts in
this area.
Though Whole Foods is struggling today, its leadership is the same one that built the
company from one store in 1980 into the leading organic grocer, now worth $11 billion.
The team is clearly impressed with the Instacart partnership thus far, and building on it
seems to be the right strategy. Catering to its customers' needs and investing in ecommerce should pay off in the long run.
According to reports, the investment has not closed yet, but expect an announcement
soon that should detail additional benefits for the two companies. Strengthening its
relationship with Instacart could help the company restore the competitive advantage it
has lost as mainstream grocers have crept into organic, natural offerings


Whole Foods Market Partners With Infor To Build

Next-generation Cloud Retail Management Suite
"Whole Foods Market Partners with Infor to Build Cloud-Based Retail Management Suite." Live Briefs
USOct 14 2015. ProQuest. Web. 9 Apr. 2016 .

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Corporate Wire Date: 14 October 2015 14:16 EDT
NEW YORK and AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Infor, a leading provider of
beautiful business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, and Whole Foods
Market (NASDAQ:WFM) today announced a partnership designed to redefine retail management
software. The companies will build a new, cloud-based retail management solution for Whole Foods
Market that is expected to enable the grocer to operate faster and more efficiently while enhancing
customer experience. The new retail management suite, Infor CloudsuiteTM Retail, will also be
made available to companies in the retail industry.
"The new retail platform we will co-create with Infor will be unlike anything currently on the market,
better leveraging major technology advances to deliver much more value at lower cost," said Jason
Buechel, executive vice president and chief information officer of Whole Foods Market. "With Infor,
Whole Foods Market has found a partner ideally suited to help us co-create a new retail platform that
enables a more efficient, connected enterprise with greater visibility, flexibility, insight, and ease-ofuse for our team members - all while delivering a better end-to-end shopping experience for our

Through a combination of cloud-based automation and more advanced, efficient processes for a
wide variety of strategic merchandising and supply chain management functions, Whole Foods
Market expects the new platform's advanced analytics to provide insights that will drive business
performance and operational efficiencies.
Whole Foods Market Partners With Infor To Build Next-generation Cloud Retail Management Suite
can be viewed via the link below.
Source: a href=''
target='_blank'Nasdaq Stock Exchange
Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods Market) owns and operates a chain of natural and organic
foods supermarket. As of September 30, 2008, the Company operated 275 stores organized into 11
geographic operating regions, 264 stores in 38 United States of America states and the District of
Columbia; six stores in Canada, and five stores in the United Kingdom.
To read more, link to our Whole Foods Market Portal Page
Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), NASDAQ's 5th largest Retailing company by market
cap, tumbled US$16.27 (or 32.9%) year to date in 2015 to close at US$33.24. This makes the stock
the biggest decliner in the Retailing sector which is down 2.2% in 2015. Compared with the
NASDAQ-100 Index which has risen 2.9% YTD, this is a relative price change of -35.8%. The
average daily volume of 4.2 million shares so far in 2015 was 0.8 times the average daily volume in
2014. In 2015 the market cap has declined US$6.1 billion.

Infor and Whole Foods

Market partner to

redefine retail
management software,
Infor, a provider of enterprise applications, and Whole Foods Market Inc., a supermarket chain, have announced a
partnership designed to redefine retail management software.
The companies will build a new, cloud-based retail management solution for Whole Foods Market that is expected to
enable the grocer to operate faster and more efficiently while enhancing customer experience. The new retail
management suite, Infor Cloudsuite Retail, will also be made available to companies in the retail industry.

"The new retail platform we will co-create with Infor will be unlike anything currently on the market, better leveraging
major technology advances to deliver much more value at lower cost," said Jason Buechel, executive vice president
and chief information officer of Whole Foods Market. "With Infor, Whole Foods Market has found a partner ideally
suited to help us co-create a new retail platform that enables a more efficient, connected enterprise with greater
visibility, flexibility, insight, and ease-of-use for our team members - all while delivering a better end-to-end shopping
experience for our customers."

Through a combination of cloud-based automation and more advanced, efficient processes for a wide variety of
strategic merchandising and supply chain management functions, Whole Foods Market expects the new platform's
advanced analytics to provide insights that will drive business performance and operational efficiencies. The new
platform's advanced IT infrastructure is also expected to deliver more in-depth information and an enhanced
shopping experiences for Whole Foods Market customers both in-store and online through Whole Foods Market's
digital channels.

Infor today also announced details of its plan to develop the next-generation end-to-end retail software suite, with
Whole Foods Market serving as a collaborative partner in the endeavor. Through the partnership, Whole Foods
Market will become a working lab for Infor development engineers and designers from Hook & Loop, Infor's
Manhattan-based internal design agency. Infor teams will work alongside Whole Foods Market team members to
identify critical process improvements and develop a purpose-built software suite that enables Whole Foods Market
to make better and faster decisions, take advantage of modern technologies like cloud and open source, and deliver
a better experience back to its customers.

"Over the last five years, Infor has pioneered the modernization of enterprise software, from the focus on design as a
core competency, to the embrace of open source technology, to the delivery of mission-critical ERP in a multi-tenant
cloud," said Duncan Angove, President of Infor. "By partnering with Whole Foods Market, a company that shares our
vision, values, and culture, Infor is poised to disrupt the retail software industry, helping companies use data science
to drive real-time decisions and a consistent, beautiful experience that keeps customers coming back again-andagain."

Whole Foods Market Estimated market

share: 2.7%
Whole Foods Market is one of the worlds leading natural food retail chains and is the first
national certified organic grocer in the United States. Founded in 1980 in Austin, TX, the
company specializes in natural and organic foods. After acquiring its top competitor, Wild Oats
Markets, the company now operates 399 locations in the United States, Canada and the United
Kingdom. Furthermore, 95.5% of the companys revenue is generated within the United States
and one-third of revenue is generated from the sale of nonperishable goods. Along with its
unique positioning, the grocer has benefited from the popularity of its private label brands, such
as 365 Organic Everyday Day Value and Wellshire Farms. Over the past five years, Whole
Foods has experienced sizable competition from new industry entrants such as Sprouts, Trader
Joes and The Fresh Market. In order to combat these competitors, the company announced
that it would open five new small-format locations over the course of 2016. These new stores
are aimed at millennial shoppers and will exclusively sell the companys premium private label
brands. In 2016, the companys industryspecific revenue is expected to reach $16.3 billion.

Trader Joes Estimated Market Share:

Headquartered in Monrovia CA, Trader Joes has emerged as one of the fastest growing
grocery chains in the United States. With over 457 stores and 10,000 employees, the company
has grown rapidly over the past five years, with only 340 locations at the start of the five-year
period. The majority of products sold in Trader Joes stores are private label, resulting in lower

prices for consumers and higher company profit margins. Additionally, the company emphasizes
the quality of their products, and refuses to sell items containing GMOs, high fructose corn
syrup, trans fat or artificial colors and flavors. According to Business Insider, Trader Joes
significantly outpaces every other major grocery store chain in sales per square foot. In 2016,
IBISWorld estimates that the company will generate $14.0 billion in revenue.

Walmart Stores Inc. Estimated market

share: 1.5%
Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Bentonville, AR, Walmart Stores Inc. is the worlds
largest retailer and grocery chain by sales, as well as the third largest employer worldwide,
following the US and Chinese military, with 2.2 million workers in over 11,600 stores worldwide.
The company leverages its massive size to exert high buying power over its suppliers, meaning
it can obtain significant cost savings and pass them down to consumers with heavily discounted
prices. Walmart is currently the number one seller of groceries, although the majority of its
revenue generated from this channel comes from its supercenter stores (see IBISWorld report
45291). However, industry-relevant revenue is generated through the companys Neighborhood
Markets, a chain of smaller grocery stores launched by the company in 1998. Neighborhood
Markets are smaller than the companys traditional (i.e. standard format) supercenters and
include pharmacies, liquor stores, delis, bakeries and photo shops. Over the past five years,
Walmart has sought to improve its sales by growing its Neighborhood Markets presence in
urban locations. The company currently operates this class of stores in 693 locations and
expects to open numerous new stores over 2016. However, this segment of the companys
operations is currently too small to make a significant splash within the Supermarkets and
Grocery stores industry. In 2016, IBISWorld estimates Walmart will achieve industry-relevant
revenue of $8.9 billion from its Neighborhood Markets stores, which accounts for about 1.5% of
industry market share.

Whole Foods Market and Instacart

Announce New Markets, Growth

Since first partnering in September 2014, Instacart has helped Whole Foods Market
customers conveniently purchase fresh groceries online and have them delivered to their
doors in as little as one hour. The new partnership means Instacart will be Whole Foods
Markets largest partner for online ordering and delivery. Collectively, the two companies will
deliver more fresh groceries to households in the U.S. than anyone else.

By Sarah Halzack
April 7 (Washington Post) -- We're inching closer to the
launch of 365 by Whole Foods Market, a new, lower-priced grocery
store that the organics giant is betting will help pull it out of
a rough patch. Whole Foods has been under siege lately
as supermarkets and big-box stores are dedicating more shelf
space to organic food, and often doing it at lower prices. With
365, they hope to fight back and broaden that kind of customer
they cater to.
The first 365 store is slated to open May 25 in the Silver
Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. And the company has offered
fresh details on what the new store will look like and how
executives will set out to lower prices.
Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods Markets, said
in an interview that he and his team have "looked and turned over
every stone to find efficiencies." That includes, for
example, trying to lay out stores in a way that reduces the time
it takes for a worker to get from the stockroom to the shelves.
It means thinking carefully about how to create attractive
merchandising and displays on the cheap, and creating a uniform
store design prototype that can be used across many locations.
"We're not putting as much capital into these stores as we
would a traditional Whole Foods," Turnas said.
[What job cuts at Whole Foods tell us about the grocer's
Even the product assortment in these smaller format outposts
is designed in part with an eye toward greater efficiency.
Bottled water, for example, is a category in which 365 won't have
a particularly deep selection, because it takes a lot of effort
to stock and because 365 executives don't believe their customer

demands it.
And with a center-aisle grocery item like olive oil, Turnas
said, they tried to narrow the offerings.
"Rather than 50 or 60 olive oils, we're going to have 10,"
Turnas said. "But they're going to be well-represented from
around the world and [different] price points."
It's not surprising that Whole Foods would need to more
tightly curate its selection in a 365 store: After all, these
small-format locations are expected to be about 30,000 square
feet, compared to the 40,000 to 50,000 square feet that co-chief
executive John Mackey has called the "sweet spot" for a typical
Whole Foods. But these examples suggest that 365 won't simply be
a line-up of the cheapest organic goods. It will be an experiment
in whether a more ruthless efficiency in curation and stocking
can help bring down prices across the store.
The new 365 stores hope to have much in common with
their sister operation, including high-quality meat and seafood
and a sprawling produce department.
There are key differences, though, including an emphasis
on prepared food bars that Turnas said will be "a little more
get-it-yourself, self-serve" than those in a traditional Whole
Foods. 365 is also building its stores around a program called
Friends of 365, in which it will turn over a small section of its
square footage to like-minded retailers to make shopping more of
an experience.
[Why supermarkets are in trouble]
The Silver Lake store will include a 1,245-square-foot vegan
fast-casual restaurant called Chloe and a 396-square-foot Allegro
Coffee Company bar that will serve craft coffee and beer. There
will also be a kiosk called TeaBot built by a company of the same
name that allows shoppers to create customized tea blends that
are served up hot to the user in less than 30 seconds.
Speculation has been running wild about what kinds of
retailers might be included in Friends of 365, after several news
stories touted that executives were considering tattoo parlors.
(The website for the Friends program includes a blurb that calls
for applications from food, fashion and personal care brands, but
also says "Record shop? Tattoo parlor? Maybe!")
Turnas said they don't currently have any plans for tattoo
parlors at upcoming stores, but the example was simply meant to
show how wide a net they want to cast with the Friends program.
It seems applicants have gotten the message Turnas said

they've received video pitches or other inquiries from at least

one tattoo parlor, more than one marijuana dispensary, and a pet
grooming business.
The thought process for choosing the Friends will vary from
location to location. While they liked New York-based Chloe for
the Silver Lake store, Turnas said they'd be looking differently
at partners for an upcoming store in Portland.
"They're very territorial, so it didn't seem right to bring
people from outside" the Portland area, Turnas said.

Cheaper Whole Foods 365

stores will be in hipster havens
Mr. Jeff Turnas has been the President of 365 at Whole Foods Market Inc. since June 2015. Mr.
Turnas served as President of United Kingdom Region at Whole Foods Market Inc., and served as
its President of North Atlantic Region since November 2007. Mr. Turnas served as Associate Store
Team Leader, Regional Specialty Coordinator, Vice President of Purchasing for the Midwest

Region, and Vice President of Purchasing for the Northeast Region of Whole Foods Market Inc.
and Merchant of Vino, which was acquired in December 1997.


nvesting: Whole foods market gets traction with updated APP
2016-03-09 07:39:42.987 GMT

By Jonathan Ratner
March 9 (National Post) -- Whole Foods Market Inc.'s
digital push appears to be paying off. The retailer of natural

and organic foods and products launched its first digital

couponing program on Jan. 28 with version 7.0 of its online
app, and so far, the numbers look pretty good. Since the
company's formal announcement on Feb. 10, daily downloads
surged from approximately 1,000 to 5,000 on Apple's iOS,
according to RBC Capital Markets.
"While digital coupling is only one initiative to restore
comparable sales growth, we are encouraged by consumers'
engagement with the new program," analyst William Kirk told
Based on a five-star rating scale, the average version 7.0
score is four, and two-thirds of users give it a five. That
comparison to all previous versions of the app, which have
received an average rating of three stars, is based on nearly
17,000 reviews.


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