Saturday, October 22, 2016

Silver Lake checks out the new 365 by Whole Foods store

365 central view 5-25-2016 10-27-57 AM

Photo by Jacqueline Fernandez


SILVER LAKE —  They lined up at the coffee bar and took photos of the teaBOT. They shopped for sushi and heirloom tomatoes while listening to a DJ play classic Jackson 5.  Welcome to Whole Foods’ first new 365 market, which opened its doors this morning in Silver Lake with promises of low prices, high-tech convenience and a hip, warehouse-store ambiance designed to appeal to a new generation of kale and Kombucha-loving  customers.

The new store, a former Ralphs on Glendale Boulevard, won praise from several customers interviewed this morning.  Shoppers said it appeared that prices were lower than at a typical Whole Foods. They found the store easy to maneuver around and did not miss the full-service meat, cheese and other departments of a traditional market.

“I spent less than $20 and I got a bag full of stuff,” said 30-year-old Erin Bond. “That’s a third of what you spend at a Whole Foods. I like that they are using new technology. It’s a cool updated version [of] a grocery store.”

In contrast to the traditional Whole Foods, with its full-service departments and flashy presentation of produce and other merchandise, 365 seems a bit bare bones. Produce, for example, is displayed in the cardboard packing boxes, and wine bottles stand on warehouse-like metal racks.  But that was okay for many folks this morning.

“I rarely go to Whole Foods because it’s so expensive, so I’m not really missing anything,” said Carlin Davis, a 24-year-old shopper from Echo Park, who was pleased to see a sushi section. “We usually go to either Trader Joe’s  or Vons. But I’m pretty sure we will come here a lot more frequently.”

“It fits today’s lifestyle,” said Katherine Wellington,  who was in Los Angeles on a business trip when she decided to visit the new market. “It was a fun experience. The question is what it will be like two months from now?”

Jacqueline Fernandez is a Los Angeles-based reporter who’s written for various media outlets such as Los Angeles Wave, The Miami Herald and WLRN-Miami Herald News.

365 exterior sign 5-25-2016 9-50-31 AM

Jacqueline Fernandez

365 neon 5-25-2016 9-18-07 AM

Jacqueline Fernandez

365 order here 5-25-2016 9-33-55 AM

Jacqueline Fernandez

365 suhi 5-25-2016 10-29-22 AM

Jacqueline Fernandez

365 tomatoes 5-25-2016 10-26-09 AM

Jacqueline Fernandez

365 wine 5-25-2016 9-17-46 AM

Jacqueline Fernandez

365 allegro 5-25-2016 9-18-42 AM

Jacqueline Fernandez

365 kale 5-25-2016 10-28-25 AM

Jacqueline Fernandez

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  1. The designers clearly took notes and followed after the look of Berkeley Bowl, but Berkeley Bowl is all about QUALITY, Can the same be said for 365…..? Don’t we, if any community deserve a green grocer of the level of a Berkeley Bowl?

  2. Those wacky kids today. Bad enough the want to vote for a communist ,they want their stores to look like they are in 1970’s East Germany too.

  3. “hip, warehouse-store ambiance” . Seems more like estilo de Goodwill to me.

    • Also, in whose mind does hip=warehouse store. When I think of hip, cool people shopping, Sam’s Club doesn’t generally spring to mind.

  4. All parties interviewed for the article were found to be on the board of directors at Whole Foods 365

  5. I was skeptical but after my visit today, I am sold on 365. The prices are competitive with T.J.’s, and have a much better selection of everything. Whole Foods never had any interest for me due to the preciousness of products and pricing. It feels like 365 WF really worked hard at opening a store that was more elevated with lower prices than Von’s and others. The crowd was a great mix of culture, age and social class. A real slice of Los Angeles.

  6. it’s a fucking market..who cares

  7. Hilarious!!! All these products exist and have existed at Whole Foods. It’s not “cheaper” than WF. It’s just at WF there’s a good portion of specialty items that are expensive.

    • Actually, no, you’re pretty much wrong. Yes, a lot of the 365 brand goods are available at WF, but the 365 store is only carrying some of that line. It has a large extended portion of that line that I’ve never seen at WF, and is very competitive with TJ’s prices (the Today Show did a price comparison this morning to TJs and Kroger and 365 did as well or better than each of them). I was there today, just to see for myself how it looked, what it stocked and what it cost. I filled up a large grocery bag plus a little of a second one for less than $50. Over six meals and some sides. That’s WAY better than WF or Gelson’s. We should celebrate high quality food and produce being priced at such a competitive level – it’s great for the community. I don’t love the warehouse look, but I DO love the low shelving height and the broad range of food that’s available. And the produce was really, really well priced.

      • When the announcement for this store was made, I don’t think anyone thought that it would actually be cheap. If it truly is, then that’s a big deal. I’ll have to see for myself.

  8. But no donuts!!!

  9. I would kill to have a 365 take over the disgusting and depressing Superior Foods on Figueroa and Avenue 45 in NELA.

  10. My one complaint is that there were a couple sections of the store with food in freezer cases, but instead of angling the cases (or the food in them) in any way so you could see what was in the cases from a distance, everything was laying flat inside the freezers and you could only see it when standing directly next to the freezer, staring down. It means that there’ll be clusters of people peering into freezers from above; instead of being able to see at a glance where desired items are from the middle of the large breezy aisles of the store, we’ll have to troll along the edges looking into each of the freezers in turn. I think they made the choice to have short freezers because it adds to the wide open feel of the store, but it’s annoying for practical purposes.

  11. It was as bad as I expected. I’m surprised that markets continue to attempt a Fresh and Easy style of marketing over and over again always leading to failure. “Half Foods” will probably fail unless Millenials really love warehouse, Easternbloc markets with a lot of waste and little to no human interaction.

  12. Prepackaged. Prepackaged. Prepackaged. Fill the landfills:( I don’t have kids, but boy, is this planet screwed for the next generation.

  13. I liked what I saw on my visit today. My only beef, or vegetable for the vegans reading this, is that they open at 8 am. They will not be a part of my daily routine opening that late.

  14. The only reason it was so inexpensive is that they are having special discounted prices on everything for the opening days of the store! These amazing prices will not last!
    In the future I hope it will close later, right now it closes at 10pm.

  15. There is a billboard on Glendale and Alessandro that has a tag line: 24.7.365. Store closes at 10pm. False advertising !!! >:|

  16. Day 6 of trying to check it out and the parking lot is still full up. Hope no one needs to pick their meds at CVS.

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