Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 20, 2013 12:47 PM
Emblematic of the slow but steady rise in health and wellness awareness, the gold-standard of ‘conscious capitalism,’ natural grocer Whole Foods is taking its brand and business acumen into the health resort sector.
"We have the perfect vehicle for this," Whole Foods Market co-CEO John Mackey told USA Today. "Think of it as a center where people would go for a day, a weekend or a week for healthy lifestyle education."
Call it a spa, resort or "healthy lifestyle education center," it's planned to open in the brand's Austin, Texas, hometown within three years—a pilot project that could catapult the company into the lucrative market pioneered by Canyon Ranch or Pritikin, or it could be another failure along the lines of the five education-focused Wellness Clubs that Whole Foods tested in 2006, including a location in Dallas.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2013 04:13 PM
With retailers on all sides of the aisle attempting to become one-stop-shopping and lifestyle platforms, traditional supermarket retailers are moving in that direction as well. Safeway—the megachain with a footprint stretching across much of the United States—has just offered a glimpse at its own attempt to become more things to more people, providing a peek at its new wellness platform slated to launch in the second quarter.
"Today, we're a supermarket company ... selling wellness services and wellness products," CEO Steve Burd told analysts, according to Drug Store News. But within 10 years, he said, Safeway would become a wellness company that happens to sell food.
The impulse for supermarket chains to expand the meaning and capabilities of their brands is understandable, in an environment where mass merchandisers such as Walmart and Target have impinged greatly on their CPG business, and even drug-store chains and dollar stores are selling more groceries. Now Walmart, for example, also is expanding its purview in healthcare and "wellness" as well, beyond the traditional in-store pharmacies long offered by mass discounters and supermarkets alike.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 29, 2012 12:04 PM
While some hotels may be considered trendy, you wouldn't think a major global hotel chain would watch lifestyle trends so carefully that it would launch brands around them.
But InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is different. Back in 2004, IHG introduced Hotel Indigo, widely regarded as the first of the boutique hotel brands that started a trend among large hoteliers. In 2007, IHG started refurbishing its somewhat dowdy Holiday Inn brand and gave franchisees until the end of 2010 to "contemporize" or risk losing rights to use the iconic name. Today, most Holiday Inns have been updated to reflect a whole new look. Holiday Inn Express, which pioneered the limited-service hotel segment in 1990, is one of the fastest growing hotel brands.
Now IHG is bringing a new hotel brand to the chain's biggest U.S. cities, bucking the trend of major chains making investments in Asia and Europe while avoiding a soft and saturated North American market. The just-announced brand, called EVEN Hotels, is all about lifestyle — a healthy one.Continue reading...