SILVER LAKE — The grand opening today of Whole Foods in Downtown L.A. attracted a lot of attention and big crowds. But Wall Street investors and supermarket watchers remain more interested in the lower-cost version of Whole Foods the company is planning to open next year in Silver Lake. After revealing very little about the 365 by Whole Foods concept, company co-founder and co-chief executive John Mackey told the New York Times that the new stores will be the equivalent of what Nordstrom Rack is to Nordstrom.
“In Whole Foods, you can find a wedge of brie for $2.99, and you can find a wedge of triple crème brie from France that’s made with milk from grass-fed cows that sells for $40 …. You won’t find any $40 brie at 365.”
The company surprised many Silver Lake residents in late July when it announced that it would open a 365 store instead of a traditional Whole Foods in the space once occupied by Ralphs market on Glendale Boulevard. Though the 365 store, named after the chain’s house brand, will feature a “convenient, streamlined, value-oriented” concept, one Silver Lake woman started an online position against the “budget” Whole Foods, reports LAist.
But it looks like Whole Foods, which has taken a beating on Wall Street lately, is focused on its own budget as it prepares to open 365 store in part to deal with growing competition for organic and natural foods, which are now widely available in such discount giants as Wal-Mart and Target.
According to the New York Times, the 365 stores “will be less expensive to build, deploy more technology and be more self-service than Whole Foods stores.” In addition, the vast majority of the products at 365 will be selected out of Whole Food’s central offices in Austin, Tex instead of the regional and store level as is the case with traditional Whole Foods stores. “It’s going to be very different from Whole Foods Market,” Walter Robb, the company’s other co-executive, told the Times.
The Silver Lake 365 store is scheduled to open in the second half of 2016.
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