New Data Reveals Whole Foods' Major Decline In Dallas, Texas

The pandemic upended the way we do life, and after initial shutdowns led to over-snacking moments, many decided to boost their bodies with healthier food choices that made organic food more popular than ever. Sounds like great news for Whole Foods Market, the nation's first and only certified organic grocery store. The numbers tell a different story and show a continued decline in Whole Foods' foot traffic, while Grocery Dive notes its competitors had more successful recoveries.

Despite Whole Foods' best efforts to meet consumers' changing pandemic needs, it has struggled with getting folks back in the store. Customers looking for a one-stop shopping experience where they could load up on essentials weren't filling their baskets with Whole Foods' more specialized product offerings. Even loyal customers devoted to organic options hit the store closer to home as organic foods became mainstream and more widely available at local supermarkets (per Retail Wire).

Record food inflation has also posed a challenge to the organic grocer known for its upscale products and higher prices. Consumers looking for more affordable options were out of luck at the store known as "whole paycheck" and instead opted for stores with more family-oriented product selection and lower prices.

Whole Foods' foot traffic continues to plummet

Tasting Table data tracking Whole Foods' foot traffic in Dallas, Texas, shows an average of 3,734 shoppers per month frequenting the store throughout 2021. According to Produce Blue Book, 2021 was a big comeback year for brick-and-mortar shops that saw many grocers keeping up with discount superstores. From March to September, Whole Foods' foot traffic remained steady but couldn't keep up with competitors like Trader Joe's, which averaged 6,547 customers per month in 2021.

According to Insider, inflationary pressures began changing the products people wanted and the prices they were willing to pay, benefitting stores with healthy options at affordable price points. While Trader Joe's and Sprouts maintained steady foot traffic levels, Whole Foods' traffic dipped below 2,000 store visits in December 2021 and January 2022. The steepest decline in foot traffic for Whole Foods came in July of 2022 when the store logged only 468 in-store visits for the month; that's an 87% decrease in comparison to July 2021.

As organic food options become available at traditional supermarkets and seemingly endless food inflation rages on, Whole Foods may have to consider its prices and the approachability of its products to correct its foot traffic issues.