In a conversation with Barron’s, John Mackey, cofounder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, commented that if Covid-19 infections are really heading for a new wave in the U.S. shortages will not be a problem for supermarkets.
“It’s totally different now,” Mackey says. There is a supply chain for grocery stores, and a separate one for restaurants and businesses. “It wasn’t that there was no toilet paper in America,” he completes. “People just stopped using toilet paper in restaurants and offices.”
The supply chain had to recalibrate, Mackey says, and it did, but with a lag. Now, stores are better prepared. “Plus, there’s anticipation that there might be a third wave, so a lot of supermarkets have been stocking up.”
On pricing, the CEO says that Whole Foods will never be the cheapest, but that it also should not charge more than competitors for the same products. The 2017 buyout by Amazon.com has given Whole Foods cover to cut prices, and it has done so in three rounds, with a fourth on the way.
Read more about the interview here.