Where will Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) be in 10 years? That's become a much tougher question to answer recently.
The company was a stock darling for much of the last generation, but its leadership in organic grocery has been challenged by the likes of Kroger, Costco, Trader Joe's, and others, and as a result customers have been deserting. Comparable sales have fallen for three straight quarters, dipping 3% in its most recent report. The company's reputation for high prices seems to have been its undoing, as customers can now find similar organic goods at lower prices, at a plethora of stores. Whole Foods management seems to be scratching its head for a solution. Despite efforts to lower prices, a loyalty program, and other moves to spruce up the business, customers are not coming back.
Is this just a speed bump for the popular high-end grocer, or a permanent shift in the industry that will continue to hinder the company's profit growth? We asked three of our top retail analysts to peer into their crystal balls. Here's what they had to say about Whole Foods' future.