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Jun 06, 2016
By Allyson Rees
When Whole Foods Market first announced its new lower-priced concept, 365 by Whole Foods, residents of LA’s hip Silverlake neighbourhood were skeptical.
They wanted the real thing—the expansive bulk section, the plethora of probiotics, the nut roastery and the in-house wine bar. At 30,000 square feet, 365 is significantly smaller than the usual 40,000 to 50,000 grocery store “sweet spot,” but the new market, which opened May 25th, has its own special features, tailored to the Millennial customer.
Prices are significantly lower than regular Whole Foods stores, thanks to a smaller staff. To replace butchers, bakers and fishmongers, 365 installed iPad kiosks where customers can make special orders for to-go food or coffee.
A “TeaBot” reads orders from the iPad and out comes a custom matcha. If you’re in the mood for juice, a Juicero takes cut fruits and vegetables and produces a $10 juice.
The product assortment is smaller than a traditional Whole Foods, and most items are from the brand’s in-house line, 365. What’s more, the store has a larger focus on prepared foods and fresh produce. Two shop-in-shops—a vegan restaurant by NYC-based fast casual By Chloe and a concept called Friends of 365, which will showcase like-minded retailers—give the store a lifestyle-centric, community feel.
This less expensive, 365 position should prove successful for Whole Foods. The company recently got a stock upgrade from Credit Suisse and was issued an Outperform rating. With other 365 outposts planned for the San Francisco, Seattle and Portland areas, it looks like the Millennial mindset is working for the grocery chain.
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