Whole Foods Market Inc is getting ready to launch a cheaper grocery store chain aimed primarily at millennials.
The new organic food shops are expected to open sometime next year and fight off competitors that the younger generations could be interested in, such as Walmart, Target or Trader Joe’s.
Walter Robb, Whole Foods co-CEO, said that the project will definitely be “unlike anything that currently exists in the marketplace”. He gave a statement promising the company will continue to offer industry leading standards but that prices will be much better for consumers on a budget.
He went on to talk about the design of the shops, saying that they “will feature a modern, streamlined design, innovative technology and a curated selection” and that they will be “hip, cool, and technology-oriented”, all things that are bound to resonate with the average millennial. It is important to note however that they will be somewhat smaller in size than traditional Whole Foods shops.
As far as any values or beliefs that they will be supporting, Robb informed that they will be transparent, convenient to shop at, they will focus on offering valuable experiences to their customers, and they will offer high-quality fresh food at great prices.
The name of the shops is unknown for the time being, however a recently filled trademark application for retail grocery services reveals that it might include one or more of following names or partial names: 365, Dailyshop, Clever Egg, Small Batch, Swiftgoods and Greenlife.
The decision to open a new chain of stores comes after Whole Foods failed to match their investors’ expectation – the company reported quarterly sales of $3.6 billion, a welcomed 10% increase over the previous year, yet investors were expecting a slightly higher number, $3.7 billion to be exact.
The company has also announced plans to triple the number of Whole Foods stores found across the U.S., going from 417 to about 1200.
It looks like they’re hoping to regain some of the lost customers by becoming more physically accessible, opening shops closer to more people, making it easier for them to shop there. But that they are also looking at newer generations (millennials) as potential markets to expand to and win over early on.
Experts, however, are quick to point out that it could all backfire very easily, as Whole Foods’ two different store chains could end up fighting each other for the same consumers. Some even suspect the decision is a sign of trouble, a sign that they may be loosing more customers than they would like the general public to know about.
John Mackey, Whole Foods CEO, doesn’t seem to agree with this concern. He is thankful for the large number of competing brands, saying that each one has helped introduce more people to the organic foods market that’s enjoyed a steady rise in popularity in recent years. He is more than willing to evolve with the marketplace.
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