If you've been holding your breath, wondering what to expect from Whole Foods' much-hyped 365 chain, you can finally exhale. The first 365 store, which is branded as a hipper, cheaper version of Whole Foods, will open May 25 in Los Angeles, and details about the location are already surfacing.
While there have been numerous reports about what the new 365 stores will include, from tattoo parlors to record shops, the reality appears to be much simpler. Jeff Turnas, president of 365, summed up the concept in just a few words, stating, "At Whole Foods, we love big, round apples. At 365, we love apples too, and get them from the same suppliers, but they may be smaller, less beautiful."
In order to keep prices low, the new stores will also forgo on-site butchers, bakeries, and elaborate displays. All meat will come pre-packaged, baked goods will be sourced from local bakeries, and fruit will be sold out of the crates in which it arrives. Finally, 365 stores will stock a smaller selection of products than their parent stores, focusing on a carefully curated selection of Whole Foods brand products.
Whole Foods' 365 stores will do more than lower prices, however. The New York Times reports that locations of the new chain will also include exciting, tech-friendly elements and enticing affiliated eateries. The Los Angeles location of 365 will include a robot that serves tea, a sommelier app to help customers select wines, and the first West Coast location of cult-favorite vegan restaurant By Chloe.
It remains to be seen whether the new 365 stores will help Whole Foods recoup its image among younger clientele, but there is no question that the brand is doing everything it can to cater to the tastes of millennials. From vegan cupcakes to ugly apples, only time will tell if the retailer can lure a broader range of customers to its stores.