I dropped by the new Oakland Whole Foods today.. here is my depressing report..
First,on the positive side. as usual the store is very sexy and slick.
Here is the sad part. First, I had forgotten how over priced the place is (had been to other ones and forgot why I boycott the place) .. much higher than Berkeley bowl (for produce anyways). You would think that with all their massive buying power they would charge decent prices, but they over charge on everything. I don't know why this store is so successful.
Crappy non local produce, at higher than farmer's market prices. For example icky over waxed apples from South america, when Great local stuff is flying off the trees right now.
Fish was not particularly fresh looking, even though it was opening day.. Cloudy eyed fish on display. dried out looking squid, silmy fish fillets.
Wine prices are very high, 10-20 % higher than wine stores, even small ones.
Some wines I have seen for 14 dollars are 18 dollars there. some 10 dollar wines are 12 dollars.. dosent sound like much??? well I think 20% is a lot more .. just add up the cost over a year.. and their "sale" prices on like 10 wines are only a dollar lower (or the same) than the regular everyday prices at many stores.. for Example Ridge Geyserville "on sale" for 28.49 or something like that ,, when it can be had everday at other places for 30 dollars..what a bargain.
that is a pricey example but you get the picture...
How do they get away with this .. with ALL THEIR BUYING CLOUT AND POWER, they shoud pass some SAVINGS on to the customer.. I guess even though I live less than 5 minutes away, I will continue to avoid Whole Foods. (even though I am sure I will still shop there in emergency last minute times, YES I am a hypocrite) You would think in a relatively poorer area, they would cut us a break. But I guess its just a place for "aspirational " types who like to see and be seen in the proper mileu and don't care about being ripped off.
I guess the emperor truly has no clothes,, people just convince themselves how great this place is when its alot of flash and not much substance.
By the way there is not enough bicycle parking.. all the slots were full..