I have been buying at the Whole Foods Union Square New York City store almost since it opened. But I am getting more and more discouraged. One of my major complaints is that there is too much moving around of items too often. Each week I am there something else has been moved to another part of the store. Each time I can't find something I ask a worker who shows me where the item has been moved and agrees with me that there this can be very frustrating for the customer. One even suggested jokingly that the bosses may suffer from a short attention span or something like that.
In addition (and this was before the recent storms, etc.) some items disappear for awhile. The 365 peanut butter was missing for several weeks at one point and all of the 365 canned salmon was gone for probably two months recently at another point.
And this summer milk from Whole Foods spoiled much faster than necessary.
Recently I purchased a Whole Foods kitchen made chicken pot pie that was far too spicy. I had purchased it before and liked it. But this time for me it was inedible. And chicken pot pie is comfort food. I returned it but could not get a replacement because it had been on sale and it seemed unfair to me to have to add money to my refund. And even before I returned it I sent an email about the spicy quality and never got an acknowledgment in reply. But when I returned the remainder of the pie I was told they were aware that it was too spicy.
Finally in their sale brochure a few weeks ago, they recommended an apple cake for its "buttery" quality. I purchased the cake and discovered there was no butter in the list of ingredients, only canola oil
In short, Whole Foods at least in my opinion is not what it was. I have discussed this with some of the workers and at least one has suggested that the cause of much of this is the replacement of those at the very top, that the person who ran Whole Foods at one time is gone, having turned over the management to others.
In the past month or so I have been purchasing more and more at Trader Joe and Costco. My most recent discovery was the 2 lb Kirkland frozen cooked shrimp with tails (size 31-40) at Costco selling for approximately 1/2 the price of the similar item at Whole Foods. Approximately $15 for one lb at Whole Foods, 2 lbs at Costco. The Costco shrimp was noticeably tastier, cleaner (no black veins vs a few every once in awhile at Whole Foods), larger, and firmer.
I really like the people who work at Whole Foods. But I will be buying less from now on.