Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Whole Foods Boycott: Will It Have Measurable Impact?

Obamacare supporters are boycotting Whole Foods because the CEO dared to write a WSJ Op-Ed and propose an alternative to Obamacare.

On Facebook, the "Boycott Whole Foods" group has gained 16,000 "friends".

Megan McArdle has cranked out some Numbers on what the impact might be:
Okay, what are the odds that half the people who signed up to boycott Whole Foods spend $200 a week there? The class of people who are most worked up over this is not necessarily contiguous with the class of people who drops $800 every single month at a single grocery store. Looking over the Facebook list, I see, broadly, three groups of people:

■People who live in a handful of very liberal urban areas
■People who live in hippy towns and/or college towns...

....These people think they are indispensible to Whole Foods' business, because in their area, they are. But according to Google, there are more Whole Foods per person in Houston, Texas, than in New York City. I don't think anyone could look at a map of the distribution of Whole Foods stores in, say, Philadelphia, and proclaim that this looks much like the distribution of people who are so fired up about national health care that they are willing to cause themselves great personal inconvenience in order to punish the CEO of Whole Foods for writing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal...
Her conclusion:
I could be wrong here. But I will be very surprised if the boycott is even detectable in next quarter's numbers.
Her complete analysis is here.

1 comment:

  1. Back in 2008, this Whole Foods, CEO John Mackey (how old is this kid?), was caught posting negative comments (trash talk) about a competitor on Yahoo Finance message boards in an effort to push down the stock price. So now I am suppose to take this loser seriously? Please, snore, snore.

    It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people (honestly where can they go with a pre-condition). And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait, Medicare and Medicaid and our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

    How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a “lynch mob” advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types AKA “screamers” are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.