Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Whole Foods to open lower-priced, “value” 365 store in Silver Lake [updated]

A rendering of the Silver Whole Foods before company announced it would be changing formats

SILVER LAKE — What’s the difference between a Whole Foods Market and a 365 by Whole Foods Market? Silver Lake shoppers will find out after the high-end grocery store chain announced today that the store it is planning to open on Glendale Boulevard will not be a traditional Whole Foods. Instead, it will be the first of its new “convenient, streamlined, value-oriented” 365  by Whole Foods Markets.

The company, which disclosed the switch as it presented its quarterly financial results to Wall Street analysts and investors, said it has renegotiated the lease on the Silver Lake store, a former Ralphs that closed last summer, so it could open a 365 by Whole Foods Market and open more quickly. The Silver Lake store is scheduled to open in the second half of 2016.

“We think the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles is an ideal community to plant our first 365 store flag and bring a modern shopping experience that draws from the best innovations of Whole Foods Market stores and gives them a new expression,” in a statement. “With a fresh format and unique product assortment, we think 365 will offer convenience and value while providing the quality standards and transparency that consumers love and expect.”

The company had previously said the new Silver Lake store would contain a restaurant and wine bar. But it’s not clear whether the 365 format, named after the chain’s house brand, will include either. The Eastsider has contacted the company for more details.

Whole Foods, which has described its new concept as “convenient and affordable,” said it will also be opening a 365 store in Santa Monica as part of the first five new stores in the chain.

A story in the Seattle Times says that Whole Foods’ 365 stores are part of the company’s attempt to compete with the smaller markets operated by Trader Joe’s and shed its “Whole Paycheck” reputation for high prices.

Update & Correction: Whole Foods spokesman Michael Silverman said the company has not disclosed how the 365 by Whole Foods Markets will differ from the traditional stores “for competitive reasons.”

“As for the wine bar, we are not confirming that or other specific aspects of the forthcoming store at this time,” Silverman said via email. “We’ll be happy to share more details about the store with you and the community when we’re ready to do so.”

Silverman also said the Silver Lake store will open in the second half of next year. An earlier version of this story said that the store would open during the first half.

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  1. So basically they’re testing their Trader Joe’s concept a half mile from the busiest Trader Joe’s in SoCal. Disappointing.

    • Probably smart of them, though.

      I just hope it still has a fish/meat counter and a smoothie bar, and lots of fruit and veggies. But I won’t be surprised now if it doesn’t. Deli/Salad bar will probably go, too 🙁

  2. Wow, that sucks! I wish they left the Ralph’s there now. Ruined the whole mall for nothing.

    • Wendell Hugo Eugene

      COMPLETELY AGREE!!!!!!! The Ralph’s was convenient, cheap, and sold more for its prices. Whole Food’s will just decrease the size of my wallet ?

  3. Very smart move for them, and as long as it doesn’t suck it will for sure take a lot of business away from Trader Joes. Either way as a consumer id much rather do with this than that grimey old Ralph’s and their c level products, cleanliness and service. That place was awful

    • I was grateful for A Market, where The tellers knew me, my family. Where If I asked for a product they brought it in. I hate change. I didn’t see anything DIRTY except for some of the shoppers in the old store.

  4. That means less jobs ala fresh&easy, NOT Trader Joes. Get ready for more self-checkout and automation, with a security guard at the door to make sure you paid. A big fancy Whole Foods model like the one in Pasadena would’ve served the community much better.

  5. Very disappointing. Whole Foods is missing a very important target audience. There is a very big need in the neighborhood for a legit. market. We already have several Trader Joes and a Fresh and Easy within a 5 mile radius. Good news for Lassens though because there’s no need to visit Whole Foods if it is basically another small store.

    • We already have Gelsons which services the same demographic as Whole Foods. Personally, I might actually shop at the 365 market which will hopefully have better produce than Trader Joes. Don’t think I would ever see the need to set foot in Whole Foods.

      • Good point about that Gelsons up the street serving the same need (and Trader Joe’s produce, LOL… terrible avocados.)

        Also, I believe Whole Foods is opening another store downtown in the next year or so.

      • For folks like myself who have limited energy due to illness, smaller stores make it easier to get to what we need. I do prefer Gelson’s over Whole Foods, but I used to love WF selection of Danish and other coffee cakes when lived closer to one!

  6. Been shopping at the old Ralphs since it was a Hughes market. Have known the employees of the store for years. Was on a first name basis with practically everybody and when we shopped we were treated like personal friends. Ran into a former employee and he gave me the biggest hug and said he misses us.

    • There’s a lot to say for that kind of relationship in a market. Hope you’ll like the new WF and make friends there too.

  7. Give Silverlake Echo Park and and Atwater Village the ghetto store ? Wow. Talk about FAIL.

  8. I guess we’ll hope for the best. It does seem disappointing that we are getting the ghetto version of whole food.

  9. They should have left the Ralphs as is-

  10. Hahahahahah!
    I absolutely LOVE this!
    For all the complainers about Ralph’s , rent gougers, overpriced property buyers, air b and b people that dont make long term rentals available house flippers etc…
    This is hilarious!
    All you are worth is a 365 store!
    Way to go Whole Foods !

  11. This store will be awesome. I think the real reason they are not putting in a full whole foods is because the parking won’t support it.
    From a business perspective, we couldn’t ask for a better option than their very first 365 store. What company would not try to make their very first segment store a success? They will only have 1 time to make a great first impression for 365 and Silverlake will get it. This is actually a big coup for our neighborhood

  12. This morning Fog

    Bummed… now I have to shop at TWO Whole Foods stores.. one to get local basics from this new store and the other to get the diverse items we have come to expect at a regular Whole Foods–or just skip this store and drive out to Glendale.. not my idea of ideal….

    Gelsons is no comparison (it is basically an over priced Ralphs.. I do like their avocados though….)

  13. Does this mean they will be overcharging at a smaller scale?

  14. Like somebody else said, sounds like a Fresh ‘n’ Easy, which includes self check-out. If so, I won’t be spending my money there. A lot of pre-packaged meals and very little organic produce.

  15. Was looking forward to a classic whole foods. I’ll continue shopping at trader joes and gelsons.

    What whole foods doesn’t understand is that many of us walk for a quick market run. You can’t easily walk to the 365. The intersection prohibits it.

    Also do I want to battle a parking lot, you know it will be bad, for a really nice fresh and easy?

  16. We were all hoping for a regular Whole Foods. Honestly, this makes me want to boycot Whole Foods. I was looking forward to a large Whole Foods coming to town and I’m not alone. There are many of us who were looking forward to it. I can just continue shopping at Lassens if the new WF is just going to be a smaller offering. Very let down.

    • bathing at baxter

      Fresh sushi, smoked meats, chilli, pizza, fresh soup, hot baked bread? I was looking forward to the variety.

  17. Great. They can call it: Whore Foods. The prostitutes that take their johns to our neighborhood at night can discard their hummus and carrot packs on our lawn as well as the usual spent condoms.

  18. I think those that actually care about the neighborhood should very seriously consider a boycott of this store, if it indeed goes up as a “365” as planned–this is very clearly an effort to steal away business from Trader Joe’s, without trying to provide the additional services (bulk selections of beans, nuts, cereal) that the area needs. This represents the worst of a competition-centered business model, and is a real missed opportunity.

    • I agree. I think this is all about Whole Foods trying to against TJs (one of the busiest TJ stores). This is not about serving the area which would be much better served by a full Whole Foods since even Gelson’s doesn’t have a wine bar or restaurant.

  19. I think these 365 stores will adapt to the market and improve over time, just as Fresh and Easy did, though I personally preferred F&E’s initial incarnation (with all those British items like trifles and shephard’s pies, and minimalistic decor) That said, I think the 365s will be pretty nice right off the bat.

  20. This is total Bologna.

    1. We must accept that times change and get more expensive.

    2. With that in mind, there’s nothing better than a Whole Foods, in terms of quality of product..

    3. Without a propper butcher and fishmonger this is a total waste of time and the mall should be an In and Out at least. Or something halfway useable.

    4. Everyone who hates this downgraded version should go into the corporate website and complain.

    5. Please spare me the Ralph’s nostalgia – are you kidding me?

  21. That space is massive. I’m sure they will have a bit of everything. And I for one would welcome some more realistic prices on food then the main Whole Food.

  22. That is really lame. Was looking forward to this store in our neighborhood. #WholeFoodsSilverlakeFail

  23. I have a great idea! All the people who are upset about this can move away forever. I will help you pack. Sorry you’re disgusting pit of yuppie dom and pseudoscience isn’t gonna be just like you wanted. Maybe try south Pasadena or Santa Monica. Your Audi sucks too.

  24. Yeah, just watch all the products they will have with canola oil and carrageenan in them. Talk about wasted space. What we really need is that sorry-ass Vons in Echo Park to finally raze that space and put up a two-story, parking on the roof Pavilions like the one they have in Long Beach and shove it full of all the organic produce and meat it can muster. Use that space! Have the quality of what’s inside be like that new Ralphs in Sherman Oaks (with a full time sushi chef too)


  25. As long as this has the classic Whole Foods Salad Bar it will be great. If it does not it would seem the potential customers will just go to the Lassen’s on Sunset in Echo Park

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