My wife came mentioned to me the other day that food purchased at Whole Foods feels like “a treat”;—shopping their is a truly enjoyable experience; the other patrons feel like friends (well, your “granola” friends), the store is inviting, and the staff is pleasant.
She set this against here Wal*Mart (notice the asterisk—I am brand compliant), which has the unfortunate position of being considered “evil” (image links to Brand Tags, the web page which I pulled this information). To her, it is a chore—a place that she wants to leave as soon as possible.
Even in times of stress, I wonder how long we will be willing to trade a more humanizing experience simply because of low prices. It’s only so long before the store becomes a trial to be endured until some better can be afforded.