Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Can email campaign save our Whole Foods?

Some folks have started a Whole Foods email campaign, trying to get them to reconsider starting a SouthPark store before an Elizabeth store. Here's some suggested text:
Whole Foods belongs on Elizabeth Avenue in Charlotte!

There's no sense in beating around the bush. As a neighbor of the exciting Elizabeth Avenue project, I can tell you that there's no better place in Charlotte for your store, and there are thousands of people like me who are waiting anxiously for Whole Foods to open.

As you might expect, then, we are extremely disappointed to hear that plans for this location are now "on hold."

Most of the people here in Elizabeth, Myers Park, Eastover, Uptown, and Plaza Midwood are familiar with your stores in the Triangle area, Atlanta, even Charleston and metro DC. We're big fans, and we'll be big shoppers. Why?

* Because we love to shop right here, and we don't like fighting the congestion in places like South Park and Ballantyne.
* Because a store at the intersection of Elizabeth Avenue, Hawthorne Avenue and 4th Street is right on our way to work - and home - and to most of the places we love in Charlotte.
* And because these are communities that are incredibly supportive of our "own" merchants.

At Elizabeth Avenue, you'll not only be the best option for Charlotte's urban condominium market and its numerous historical close-in neighborhoods, you'll be the only convenient option. So you can expect a much higher share of our grocery dollars than you'd ever get in a more competitive
location like South Park.

We hope the news we're hearing about Whole Foods in Charlotte is wrong and that you'll soon be announcing plans to accelerate the opening of your store in Elizabeth. It's the right place, and the best place, for you to be.
The folks to email are CEO John Mackey (, South Region President Scott Allshouse ( and VP for Real Estate Norah Smith ( Note the email pattern. Assuming it holds, you can probably figure out a few more people to email from this list.

While an email campaign probably can't hurt, I have to say I'm dubious. I have my doubts about the effectiveness of email campaigns to begin with. But more importantly, I think the SouthPark store is a done deal. No way Whole Foods can concede the SouthPark market to competitor Earth Fare, whose SouthPark store is scheduled to open in November. If you're Whole Foods and you're comparing the two locations, it's pretty clear that Elizabeth can wait and SouthPark can't -- as much as I hate to say that. But maybe we should all email them anyway, just to make sure they don't change their minds and never come to Elizabeth.


Beth Haenni said...

While I appreciate your dose of realism, we are a passionate neighborhood, and I think there is more to a business deal than business. So, tell everyone you know to write Whole Foods a letter and show them our spirit here in Elizabeth!

John McBride said...

Write on Beth! I think we should all email Whole Foods even if they do go to that other neighborhood first. Hey -- maybe they can do both.

Andria said...

Had a call today from Adelphi phone survey company, and took the call and the survey with a hunch it might be related to Whole Foods. I don't normally do phone surveys, and suspect most of y'all might not either.
I don't know that the survey is related to Whole Foods -- the questions only dealt with current shopping patterns -- but those active in the email campaign might appreciate residents taking the call, and the survey. I wouldn't let this one roll over to voice mail Neverland.

John McBride said...

Good call Andria. I'll be listening out for that survey, although I guess by now they're done.

An said...

Perhaps Grubb could court another high-end grocer like Dean & Deluca or D'Agostino. It is not good to place all eggs in one basket. If Whole Foods does not pan out, another company could take this opportunity to revamp their company image by opening a tres chic food emproium on the Elizabeth Avenue. Thus, changing the public perception of the brand. i.e. Maybe a company with an "image crisis" like Food Lion could cement Bloom's image into a more urbanite one.

John McBride said...

Good point An. Hopefully Grubb is keeping its options open.

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