Whole Foods to Open New Fill-In Focused Format

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Whole Foods to Open New Fill-In Focused Format


AUSTIN — Whole Foods Market Inc. plans to introduce a new store format that will offer high-quality foods at value prices. Geared toward millennial shoppers, the new stores will feature a modern streamlined design, innovative technology and a curated selection of products.

“We see a whole generation of young people coming up who are quite interested in … organic foods. They’re [the] millennial generation. They’re idealistic, they’re values-oriented, they’re mission-driven — these all play to Whole Foods Market’s strengths,” co-CEO John Mackey said while reporting on the Austin-based company’s fiscal 2015 second-quarter earnings.

“They’re also very value-cautious,” he continued. “So, we think a streamlined, hip, cool, technology-oriented store — unlike any store anybody has ever seen before — that has lower capital, lower cost, perhaps little labor cost and lower prices is going to be very, very attractive to that particular generation.”

The first of these new stores are set to open in 2016, and Whole Foods expects that the standardized design and product assortment should allow for fairly rapid expansion.

The new format is meant to be a complementary brand — not an alternative — to current Whole Foods Market stores. The retailer anticipates shoppers will visit both stores: the traditional, larger Whole Foods Market stores for their typical weekly grocery shopping trip, and the new store format for fill-in shopping trips.

More details will be released before Labor Day, according to Mackey.