Faced with a steep drop of 35 percent in stock value, upscale grocery Whole Foods is reportedly looking to do something it has resisted for more than three decades: offer customers a rewards program.
According to Bloomberg, Whole Foods will pilot test the strategy first in Princeton, New Jersey, and then expand the program to Philadelphia later this year.
In recent years, the introduction of more organic fare by national chains like Kroger and Wal-Mart has hurt Whole Foods’s control over the natural foods market.
In an email between Bloomberg and Whole Foods spokesperson Michael Silverman, the company confirmed that the trial program, lasting between six and eight months, will be national by late 2015. Using a rewards card or mobile app, Whole Foods customers will be able to redeem points for “discounts and store experiences, such as cooking classes,” Silverman told Bloomberg.
The company is also expected to “boost sales with a new marketing campaign this fall.”
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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.