Customers abandon Whole Foods in lockstep

Earlier this month Whole Foods CEO John Mackey spoke with National Public Radio (NPR) as a book Mackey co-authored, Conscious Capitalism, was released. For years Mackey has said he thinks the healthcare reform laws are a form of socialism, but he took it up a notch and told NPR he thinks, “it’s more like fascism.”

The next day on CBS This Morning the Whole Foods founder tried to dial back his rhetoric and “bad choice of words.” Customer’s weren’t buying it.

Mother Jones followed the NPR and CBS features with a January 18 email interview with Mackey. BAGHe seized the opportunity to set off Whole Foods customers with his comments on Climate Change, which included, “climate change is perfectly natural and not necessarily bad.”

Mackey is pretty egalitarian in his ability to alienate customers who know they are paying premium prices to shop at Whole Foods (also called “Whole Paycheck” by customers).

My friend Karen Bonnell sent this email to Whole Foods, which she is allowing me to reprint here:

Dear Whole Foods Market,

I am writing to tell you I must end our love affair. Your (CEO’s) recent comments that Obamacare is “like fascism” and now, saying that Climate change “is not necessarily bad” shows me beyond any shadow of doubt that you don’t have a clue about things most important to me. So, it is adios, and I and my pocketbook will shop elsewhere.

I bet the lines are shorter at Whole Foods these days. That’s the way conscious capitalist consumers behave.

About Katherine Helms Cummings

During the day I am a social and environmental activist whose professional work has been in the nonprofit world for the last 12 years. Most nights and weekends I am an artisan making accessories with upcycled cashmere and woven textiles. My handmade items are available at The Sassy Gal http://thesassygal.org
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