In my area we have WFM, TFM, Trader Joe's, Earth Fare, Kroger's, BI-LO, Food Lion, Piggly Wiggly, Wal-Mart, Target and Publix.
Without doubt WFM is the best. TFM has just as good quality but not the variety and its a bit more expensive. Trader Joe's is clearly down scale. Earth Fare is nice. Kroger has a health food section, but the prices are really not better in that regard. BI-LO, Food Lion and Piggly Wiggly are really the bottom of the pile. Publix has good quality and above average selection but prices tend to be somewhat high. Wal-Mart and Target are in the middle.
I shop the most at Kroger because they have the small health food section and it is just down the street from my place. But my first choice is WFM. Earth Fare is great for an inexpensive but quality lunch. Trader Joe's came into town near where TFM, Publix, the Pig , BI-LO and Kroger are located, and has had a major impact. The Pig became a Bi, and it remains nearly empty. I suspect TFM is losing money, as is Earth Fare.
The market is large enough to support all three. TFM has lower overhead as they operate smaller stores and grocery items are not main business. The Deli counter, meat, seafood, produce and wine sections are big money makers and draw the customers. This fourth quarter will be excellent and profits during this quarter have been excellent. DD.
You apparently know nothing about this company and I question your investor savvy, too. TFM has always slow to take off but once they do the loyal customers keep coming back. Who wants spend 2 hours in an acre-sized store trying to find a decent steak and then wait for 30 minutes to check out? That's what Whole Foods and others like them offer. Yeah, let's go to a Home Depot sized grocery store and spend the afternoon. I have more to do that that, my brother.
WFM is pulling ahead over the past year...even more so in previous years.
WFM has flagship stores and they are packed for a reason. People want what the store offers and the number of departments and quality/service levels are consistently high. The stores are big for a reason too...so that people will have a large volume of selection even in niche areas like gluten-free desserts. Checkout never takes 30 minutes as you indicate since at peak times they have many express checkouts open. Yes, they could have self-checkout but I don't see that at TFM either...
Our local WFM also has a full coffee/wine bar and yes...it is well patronized. They frequently have wine tastings also which augment the sales in the wine/liquor area. Additionally, personal consultants are on hand in the HBA section (Health and Beauty). There is a also a full sushi bar with takeaway counter. The bulk section has over 200 items.....etc etc etc.
YOU won't find ALL that in a TFM store except maybe in their flagship store and even then.
If I want something as simple as a decent steak, I wouldn't go to these types of stores actually. QFC (Kroger) has good enough and I'm rarely a steak eater anyway.
You just don't get it do you?
WFM beats TFM in sooo many ways including stock performance.