Did Whole Foods boycott work? Not likely.
After Whole Foods CEO John Mackey penned an anti-health reform editorial for the Wall Street Journal in August, boycott calls swept the blogosphere. Given the number of my progressive friends I saw in subsequent months toting around steaming items from the Whole Foods hot bar I was skeptical that the boycott would do much damage.
The latest 10K filed by Whole Foods seems to confirm my skepticism.
While the chain was hammered by the recession the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 saw overall sales trending upward. More importantly, the boycott did not even merit a mention in the filing. Unions, by the way, get a nod under risk factors.
Although the boycott threats did not merit attention in the financial filings, which generally means they did not have a financial impact, the backlash certainly bothered Mackey. His many controversial statements probably helped spur his resignation
from as chair of the company’s board of directors.
You can read more about his remarkably strange thoughts in this great New Yorker profile. It turns out he’s a pretty politically conservative guy, even though he built a chain that liberals can’t avoid, even when they try.