Notorious for its high prices, Whole Foods is trying to shed that image as it expands into middle- and lower-income areas of the country. Critics argueded that Whole Foods prices would cost a middle-class family its whole paycheck. As the recession forced many shoppers to cut back, expensive organic groceries were some of the first items to go. Now, as newer competitors like Kroger are trying to cut in on upper-income shoppers, and longtime competitors like The Fresh Market and Sprouts Farmers Market are continuing to grow, Whole Foods is turning to time-tested retail marketing methods like one-day sales and buy-one-get-one-free deals. The new strategy appears to be succeeding: its stock price recently hit $56, after sinking to as low as $4.27 in 2008.
HALF A PAYCHECK