Marketing expert warns Whole Food Markets off US approach in London

Whole Foods Market, the natural and organic supermarket that opened in London this week, should not impose its American retail template on the UK market or it will fail, according to a leading transatlantic brand expert.

Allyson Stewart-Allen, the founder of International Marketing Partners, which advises companies on business across cultures, says that British consumers are unlikely to take to “enthusiastic” American marketing claims.

She adds: “Unless Whole Foods has a value proposition that’s better and/or different from Waitrose or Marks & Spencer – both of which are within a short walk of its store – the company will become yet another US brand looking for a British home.”

Stewart-Allen says that it will have to “localise” its ranges and sourcing if it is going to succeed. She warns that it will face the same fate as Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell and Arby’s, which all failed to break the UK market, if it does not assimilate, adding that it will end up being “totally inappropriate” and will “reinforce the negative view of Americans”.

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