Listen, at this point, this is back-of-the-envelope dreaming that I intend to flesh out in future articles. But, it kicks off a larger point -- Whole Foods needs to do more to stay competitive long-term. It owns a lifestyle consumer today -- quite impressively -- but that could change in a flash. It needs to be more like Starbucks from tech and aggressive-strategic growth standpoints.
I also understand that messing with the Trader Joe's concept would upset a lot of people. We're passionate about these specialty, gourmet grocery stores. But, trust me, Trader Joe's diehards will get over it. They all shop at Whole Foods anyway (even if they say they don't) and they're the same people who claim to hate Starbucks while sipping a grande, extra-hot, double, skinny, no-foam latte with a shot of peppermint.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.