Whole Foods deconstructed

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Yesterday, we spent part of the class discussing the field trips we took last week to “offline” (you know you’re a geek when you always want to refer to this as IRL) bricks and mortar grocers.  Having spent a couple of hours taking a good hard look at Whole Foods and our local farmer’s market,  I thought it would be interesting to compile my scribbles into some general observations of the Whole Foods experience, and then try to find some online equivalents of some of these attributes.  Here’s some of what I compiled.

I found it really interesting how Whole Foods successfully mimics (or perhaps vice versa?) a number of the things that work at a Farmer’s Market such as:

  • Utilizing blackboards and colored chalk
  • integrating a coffee bar into the experience (even in the snow, the caffeine addicts queued up at the Farmer’s Market, albeit a bit miserably)
  • Merchandising products with wicker baskets and other “rustic” elements like coffee bags  (wicker baskets have even made it to Safeway)
  • Weaving storytelling into the products/producers
  • Prominently displaying “organic certification” signage



Interested in the User Experience course I’m teaching? Here are more posts:

>The First Class

>The Second Class

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