Whole Foods is preparing for the grand opening of a lower-priced chain of grocery stores dubbed 365 by Whole Foods Market, which is designed to target Millennials and bargain-minded customers.
The nation’s largest organic foods retailer is under increasing pressure from rivals that have added organic foods to their offer but at much more affordable prices. With 365, the retailer hopes to revive sells and lure in new customers.
According to the company, the nation’s first 365 store will open May 25 in L.A. Jeff Turnas of Whole Foods said that the company has moved mountains to ‘find efficiencies.’ For instance, the stores’ design will prevent workers from wasting too much time when moving from the stockrooms to the commercial area.
Turnas added that the new stores will cost less than a traditional Whole Foods outlet. Plus, the retailer has other ways to cut prices. For example, there won’t be a sophisticated assortment of bottled water because it takes effort to stock and the demand is not that great.
The retailer will also narrow offerings of other products as well. Turnas explained that rather than having 60 brands of olive oil on display, 10 would suffice. Yet, those ten would vary in price range and manufacturer by country of origin.
Nevertheless, narrowing down offerings is a must especially because the new stores will be around 30,000 square feet when a conventional Whole Foods store can have up to 50,000 square feet.
Analysts believe that the new chain won’t sell the cheapest organic foods out there. It will be an experiment to see if maxed-out efficiency and closely curated offerings could bring prices down.
Company representatives said that the new stores will continue to offer high-quality seafood, meat, and produce. To boost efficiency, the 365 stores’ prepared foods bars will focus more on self-serve, Turnas added. Plus, Whole Foods will lend in-store space to other retailers under an initiative called Friends of 365 to improve consumer experience.
The first 365 store will include a restaurant for vegans dubbed By Chloe and a coffee shop called Allegro Coffee Company. It will also feature a TeaBot kiosk that will deliver customized hot tea to customers in less than a minute.
According to the rumor mill, Friends of 365 could include personal care companies, fashion retailers, and even tattoo parlors.
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