Whole Foods has revealed new details about the chain of cheaper stores it’s opening to better compete with rivals like Trader Joe’s.
The first of the new stores, called 365 by Whole Foods Market, will open its doors on May 25 in the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles.
The store will feature a number of prepared food bars and beverage stations operated by different vendors, as well as a 1,235-square-foot vegan fast-casual restaurant called By Chloe, the company said Thursday.
The restaurant will serve plant-based burgers, salads, pastas, desserts, and other items. Customers will have the option of dining in or taking the food to go.
The store will also have a craft brew bar operated by Allegro Coffee Company with a selection of coffee, beer, and food.
For tea lovers, there will be a self-serve kiosk from Toronto-based startup teaBOT that allows customers to customise tea by mixing up to three of 18 different teas and herbal ingredients.
The store will give customers the option to order their groceries online and get them delivered through Instacart.
One of the driving principles behind the new 365 chain is curation, according to Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods Market.
“With each store, we’re looking to curate an experience that’s totally customised to that location,” Turnas said in a statement. “Allegro’s craft brew bar will provide a casual place for Silver Lake residents to relax before or after they shop, while teaBOT’s unique service will offer a quick, yet deeply personalised tea-making experience.”
The 365 stores will be significantly smaller than regular Whole Foods locations and focus more on fresh produce and prepared foods than center-aisle packaged goods. That means the store will offer a smaller selection of goods — so for example. there will be five types of ketchup to choose from, rather than a dozen.
Whole Foods has said it’s targeting tech-savvy, price-sensitive millennials with the new store design. The chain’s prices are expected to be about as cheap as Trader Joe’s prices, according to analysts.
Trader Joe’s is currently about 26% cheaper than regular Whole Foods stores, according to a recent price check by Deutsche Bank.
Whole Foods plans to open two more 365 stores in fiscal year 2016 — including one in Bellevue, Washington and one in Portland, Oregon — and up to 10 new 365 stores in fiscal year 2017.