Let's have the Whole picture

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I was sorry that your piece on Whole Foods Market last week did not include all three of the possible scenarios IGD foresees for the future of the market in the UK.

It could split into three parts: discount, mid-market and premium, with low-cost contract manufacturers supplying the discounters and specialists supplying the premium sector, leaving the middle for everyone else.

In the second scenario more of the discounters will trade up and the major retailers will further develop their premium categories. This is already happening to some extent.

The third option is the one you reported and might involve what we at IGD call the “shopping divide”.

Imagine the shopping basket split in two: products that vary, and then the products that don’t.

Shoppers will use a fresh food store for products that need involvement, and an online service or warehouse retailer for routine, regular purchases and brands with which they are very familiar.

These are scenarios for some time in the future but premium retailers, such as Whole Foods Market, are already shifting the balance in the market.

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