- Whole Foods Markets opens its 365 by Whole Foods concept in the Cedar Park neighborhood of Austin, TX today, according to Supermarket News. This is its fourth location.
- The store is a 30,000-square-foot facility with Whole Foods’ patented organic, healthy approach via grab-and-go prepared options and standard grocery items. This one will have two full-service restaurants — including one that can double as a bakery and a beer hall.
- Selections in these stores tend to have more value-oriented prices than the flagship stores.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey announced that stores following Austin's model are part of the “second wave” of the 365 model. HIs hope is that revamping the spinoff store will create a more defined strategy overall for the chain, which has seen mixed results since its initial kickoff.
What makes this Whole Foods 365 different than the three others is the restaurants,which introduce a more premium experience that has worked in the original Whole Foods store model. Adding more premium items seems to contradict the whole philosophy of the 365 concept, which is to offer convenience with “better pricing.” However, the chain should do what it can to bring people into the stores. Bringing in something they know will be a hit makes sense.
Whole Foods is optimistic that this approach will increase sales and get people buzzing about the concept.
The 365 store was created as part of the retailer’s strategy to reach lower-income, urban neighborhoods where large store formats — and the retailer's reputation for pricey items — make it less likely to succeed. It was also built to appeal to millennial shoppers, something that trendy eateries that double as bakeries and beer halls are likely to do.