- Whole Foods opened its second Ideal Market store in Denver on Wednesday, according to a press release. The 22,500-square-foot store is the second Ideal Market location Whole Foods has opened since acquiring the Boulder, Colorado-based grocery brand in 2007 and replaces a Whole Foods that closed three years ago, according to local news reports.
- Located in the residential Capitol Hill neighborhood, the new store features a beauty and lifestyle boutique and a “bottle room” with a rotating selection of seasonal, local and limited beers, Whole Foods said.
- The new store indicates Whole Foods is aiming to keep alive the Ideal Market brand’s community focus while furthering the grocery store chain’s sustainability efforts and well-known offerings.
Whole Foods’ new Ideal Market appears to be trying to strike a balance between keeping the favorite parts of Ideal Market that made it what the company calls “a fixture in the community for decades” and the signature aspects of the Amazon-owned grocer.
The Denver store complements two standard Whole Foods stores located nearby and has “an emphasis on organic, local and made-in-house artisanal and culinary offerings,” Bill Jordan, regional president of Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region, said in a statement. The two closest Whole Foods are both approximately three miles away from the Ideal Market store.
Inside the store, shoppers can find the usual Whole Foods’ offerings, like an in-house bakery, pizza station, salad venue and grab-and-go section.
The announcement noted the store will carry “customer favorites” from around the U.S. like Rhode-Island based vegetarian food brand Fantastic World Foods, Shaka Tea from Hawaii and plant-based Dream Pops from California. La Colombe Coffee Roasters said the store is home to its first Denver-based cafe.
Continuing Whole Foods’ sustainability efforts, various products are in packaging made from recycled water bottles, according to the press release. All of the fresh and frozen seafood, including the in-house smoked salmon, meals, dips and spreads, either has been sustainable wild-caught or received the grocer’s “Responsibly Farmed” seal it gives farms that meet its quality standards through third-party audits.
According to a report from The Know, The Denver Post's entertainment website, the new Ideal Market has a new vibe compared to the one in Boulder. A "beauty bar" occupies a pink and white corner of the store, while a "bottle bar" greets customers at the front of the store with craft brews and seating, according to The Know.
While Amazon has linked up Prime members with deals on a wide range of items, the new Ideal Market store offers a smorgasbord of local products from beer to cheese to body care, and uses local ingredients in its prepared foods section.
As Whole Foods struggles to boost traffic at its more than 500 U.S. stores, it may look to Ideal Market as a testing ground for new offerings and services that can energize shoppers. Whole Foods previously tried to build out a chain of stores called 365, but shuttered the brand early last year.