In Austin, Texas, for the past year Whole Foods Market has been working on a store that they are calling 365. The purpose of these specific types of stores is to have them compete more directly with stores such as Central Market (found in Dallas), Trader Joe’s (now found just about everywhere) and Mariano’s (found in Chicago), as well as other actual Whole Foods Markets. One of the differences between other stores and 365 locations is that it is smaller and will offer a bit more convenience for specific demographics.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the company is looking to expand beyond Austin, Texas and offer these specialty stores in 13 more cities, including Los Angeles, Houston and Portland, among others. While the company only announced 13 locations for their 365 stores, they did indicate they might offer some other locations once they are able to report their results for the first quarter. The addition of these stores might end up being a boost to the company’s revenue, which in turn will affect upcoming quarters.
While there are plenty of reasons for Whole Foods Market to want to try different approaches to their stores, there are some unique features of these 365 locations that will appeal to another set of shoppers. As the stores website itself states, these locations are all about making “healthy living easy” and accessible for everyone.
In this vein, the stores are going to be cheaper than a standard Whole Foods Market. They will be offering low prices every day on both organic and natural products. The stores will even offer a loyalty program that include special coupons and sales.
The checkouts will also be a bit different in these locations. In particular, for anyone just buying a few things there be a checkout location near the prepared foods section towards the middle of the store.
Of course much like the standard Whole Foods Market, there will still be places to sit and eat within the stores. There will be a place to basically hangout and relax while shopping. Plus, with low shelves that allow for the entire store to be visible at a glance, the 365 locations open shoppers up to an entirely new shopping experience.
While new locations might be announced once the results of the first quarter are revealed, it is clear that Whole Foods Market feels strongly about their 365 concept. With 13 new locations across the country having already been announced, it is only a matter of time before other big cities are given a taste of this fresh and innovative business plan from the store that offers healthy eating options for everyone.
By Dorothea James
Photo Courtesy Whole Foods Market