Should Whole Foods Buy Trader Joe's?
Starbucks is a tech company in a retail coffeehouse's clothing. At first blush, you might place them on the same level as Whole Foods Market (WFM) , but Starbucks really is the superior company for the long-term.
On most days, I have nothing even remotely negative to say about Whole Foods from consumer and investor perspectives. Love the company. Really like the stock. However, when I conduct a multi-method stock market ethnography that puts Starbucks and Whole Foods side-by-side, I start to see flaws. Let's explore them over a bottle of Cherry Chia Kombucha and a venti Chai Tea Misto, 1/4 hot water, 3/4 steamed soy milk, plenty of foam.
We'll get to the all-important Trader Joe's stream of semi-consciousness in a minute, but Starbucks doesn't dominate because of scale and size; it wins because it's cutting edge.
Thanks to TheStreet's Robert Weinstein, I got my hands on a Starbucks Steel Gift Card. This is the premium-quality SBUX card, loaded with $400 and on sale for $450 in a limited quantity of 5,000. They sold out in minutes. And now, they're popping up on Ebay for outrageous prices with a majority of the actual bids coming in as high as $700 to $800.
I was thrilled to get my hands on one. As a relatively new Starbucks addict, I'm grateful to Robert. Why is this relevant? It's relevant because the Starbucks iPhone app I downloaded a few months ago has made me a loyal customer. I hit Starbucks at least once a day now; sometimes twice.