Wal-Mart vs. Whole Foods: A tale of 2 economies
A clever online map contrasts Bay Area locations of the stores. What it means is generating some interesting discussion.
Here's proof that all those random factoids on the Internet can, with the help of a creative mind, be herded into insightful and informative data that economists, consumers and others can put to practical use -- or at least generate some interesting debate.
On the bulletin-board-like Reddit website, a user posted two Google Maps views of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, one showing all of the Whole Foods (WFM) stores and next to it, the same map with all of the region's Wal-Mart (WMT) outlets pinpointed.
The title of this posting is "How to tell with Google Maps where the rich people live," and it's been generating a lot of clicks.
Matthew Yglesias at Slate said the map might highlight a demographic divide in Bay Area consumers but also points out differences in real estate.
"Wal-Mart relies on a much larger per store footprint to generate a reasonable return on investment," he says, "so it's often not practical to build Wal-Marts in places where land is expensive."
And while there may be an economic divide, the lines between stereotypical Wal-Mart and Whole Foods customers are often blurred. Wal-Mart introduced organic produce to its stores several years ago, while Whole Foods has its own line of competitively priced cooking oils, pastas, frozen foods and cereals.
In fact, as one Reddit user noted, in the suburban Bay Area town of Mountain View, Calif., "the Whole Foods and Wal-Mart are right next to each other."
Safeway is a ripoff anyway, not at the level of Whole Foods, but they are getting there with the prices of the regular grocery items. Same story for Wallmart.
All these corporations have only one goal, making money by robbing their customers.
One of our local Giants(Fairless Hills) just did a makeover after which the opening brings people into the produce section, the deli section in back and the health food aisle has been shifted onto that side of the store.
Doesn't Whole Foods have Friday deals which should help them compete?
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