Whole Foods has pledged to slash its prices after the company’s profits stalled in the second quarter.
The upmarket supermarket chain, which has nine stores in the UK, saw its shares drop nearly 19 per cent overnight – swiftly removing more than $3 billion of its market value.
The reported earnings represent the slowest growth since 2009 at a time when the health food market is booming, and are said to have concerned investors.
Whole Foods is known for selling high-end natural and organic foods and drinks. Last night a company spokesman admitted that competition from rivals like Trader’s Joe and Kroger and Wegmans had become more intense and could explain reduced earnings.
The company has responded by saying it will lower its price to compete with low-cost competitors.
“We were overly optimistic in our ability to compare against the record-breaking results we have produced for the last few years,” co-chief executive John Mackey admitted.
“So we’re going to be investing more aggressively in price going forward, while continuing to take our expenses down and continuing to innovate and differentiate.”