The Waning 'Whole Foods Effect'

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A fake sign fooling Jersey City residents into thinking a Whole Foods is coming to Warren and Bay streets. There is, however, a Whole Foods moving into Newark.

Which comes first: the gentrification or the Whole Foods

The high-end grocery chain has a reputation for slipping into developing neighborhoods just before the surrounding property values skyrocket. That's made them an important symbol for some struggling neighborhoods: when Whole Foods arrives, it's a sign those places have made it. Others say when the pricey chain touches down on their block, it's a harbinger of harmful gentrification and a rising cost of living.

But it seems Whole Foods has been having a rough year. The company has had pricing scandals, falling stock prices and this week it announced it's firing 1500 employees in order to lower prices. It's also announced a new spin-off chain, "365 by Whole Foods Market," aimed at a younger, more budget-conscious customer. Some Los Angeles residents near the site of the first 365 location say they want the "real thing" instead.

Hear guest host Ilya Marritz talk grocery-store strategy with guests Heather Landy from Quartz and Helaine Olen from Slate

And later in the show, Landy and Olen, who's the author of Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry, weigh in on Sen. Elizabeth Warren's attack on the financial industry this week.

Warren, who's made a name for herself as the conscience of the financial industry, says corporations are secretly influencing Congress by paying experts who testify. This week, an expert with the Brookings Institution stepped down after Warren pointed out that a paper he submitted to the Senate was funded by the mutual fund manager The Capital Group.