Whole Foods' new stores are unrecognizable

Whole Foods Opening New Less Expensive Line of Stores Targeting Millennials

Whole Foods is launching a new chain of stores that will be unlike the grocery-store chain's existing locations.

The first of the new stores, called 365 by Whole Foods Market, will open next month in Los Angeles. The second store is slated to open in Lake Oswego, Oregon, in July.

Whole Foods gave Business Insider a sneak peek of what's to come. Here's what customers can expect:

1. 365 by Whole Foods' prices will be much lower than those at Whole Foods' existing stores.

365 by Whole Foods will be competing directly on price with Trader Joe's, Kroger, Sprouts, and other similar stores, said Jeff Turnas, president of the new chain.

To offer the lower prices, Whole Foods has cut back on the building, design, and furnishing costs for its 365 stores.

See Whole Foods locations around America:

21 PHOTOS
Whole Foods around the country
See Gallery
Whole Foods' new stores are unrecognizable
A customer enters the Whole Foods Market in Superior, Colorado United States July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Tomatoes are pictured at a Whole Foods store in San Diego, California, U.S., August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Grass-fed beef products are pictured at a Whole Foods Market in Pasadena, California, U.S., July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Cut vegetables for sale are pictured inside a Whole Foods Market in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
An organic chicken is seen for sale above an explanation of animal treatment standards at a Whole Foods Market in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S., July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Juice drinks for sale are pictured inside a Whole Foods Market in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A sign explains animal treatment standards in the meat department at a Whole Foods Market in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S., July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Hummus for sale is pictured inside a Whole Foods Market in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Customers walk by the Whole Foods Market in Boulder, Colorado May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
The inside of a Whole Foods Market is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A Whole Foods Market is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Customers are seen outside a Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas, U.S. December 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed
The inside of a Whole Foods Market is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Jeff Turnas, President of 365 by Whole Foods Market, walks through a 365 by Whole Foods Market grocery store ahead of its opening day in Los Angeles, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
The salad bar is pictured at a 365 by Whole Foods Market grocery store ahead of its opening day in Los Angeles, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
An employee checks packaged meat at a 365 by Whole Foods Market grocery store ahead of its opening day in Los Angeles, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Express cashier kiosks are pictured at a 365 by Whole Foods Market grocery store ahead of its opening day in Los Angeles, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Customers check out at a Whole Foods Market in New York City, U.S., February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
The inside of a Whole Foods Market is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A view of fruit and vegetables in a Whole Foods Market shop in London.
A view of cheese in a Whole Foods Market shop in London.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

2. The stores will have a no-frills design and digital price tags.

"We scaled down the look and feel of the store," Turnas said. There will be no printed signs in the new stores, and all the price tags will be digital, enabling the company to make price changes quickly and more efficiently.

365 Whole FoodsWhole Foods

While the design will be scaled down, Turnas stressed that 365 would not be a "bare-bones" experience similar to what shoppers might find at some discount grocers.

"We're still very customer-centric," he said.

3. The stores will be smaller than regular Whole Foods stores, with a different layout.

When customers walk inside a 365 store, they should be able to see the entire store from where they stand. That's because Whole Foods has lowered the height of all fixtures and shelving in the 365 stores to make it easy for customers to find what they need.

"We don't want people to be overwhelmed," Turnas said. "We want them to immediately get the layout and not feel intimidated."

365 Whole FoodsWhole FoodsThe prepared food bars, which are typically located on the perimeter of regular Whole Foods stores, will instead be located in the center of 365 stores. A "pantry" section offering beer, wine, and other packaged goods will be located on the perimeter.

4. The stores will carry about a third of the products that regular Whole Foods stores carry.

365 stores will offer about 7,000 items. There will be a mix of products by Whole Foods' private label (which is called 365 Everyday Value) as well as by a variety of national brands — some of which aren't currently carried by Whole Foods.

5. 365 will offer express checkouts to make the stores more convenient for people who want to make a quick trip for prepared foods or a couple of grocery items.

365 Whole FoodsWhole Foods

The express checkout lanes will be located in the middle of the store near the prepared-food departments. To speed things up, customers will be able to use only Apple Pay and credit cards at the express checkouts.

6. The stores will offer a rewards program that gives customers free stuff based on past buying behavior.

"You'll get instant savings every time you shop" through the rewards program, Turnas said. For example, if you tend to buy bagged lettuce, you might get a reward of a free bag of lettuce for every 10 bags you buy.

365 Whole FoodsWhole Foods

When customers sign up for the rewards program, they will be asked about their dietary preferences and other lifestyle questions, such as whether they have kids, to better tailor the rewards program to meet their needs.

7. Customer service will be more efficient.

365 is training its employees to be able to work across all departments — including checkouts — so no department is left understaffed, depending on a store's needs on any given day.

WFM_365LakeOswego_View4_040516Whole Foods

The company is also using new inventory-management software that will automatically reorder items that need restocking, so employees don't have to manually manage inventory orders.

8. 365 will offer customers a place to hang out, whether in the dining areas or at the craft beer, coffee, or juice bars.

Each store will have its own kitchen, and customers will be able to order food from the kitchen using an iPad then take it to go or eat it in the store dining area.

There will also be in-store restaurants.

365 Whole FoodsWhole Foods

The Los Angeles location, for example, has a 1,235-square-foot vegan fast-casual restaurant called By Chloe, in addition to a craft-brew bar operated by Allegro Coffee Company.

Turnas says the "hangout" factor is what will set 365 apart from its competitors.

"Nobody hangs out at Trader Joe's or Kroger," Turnas said.

NOW WATCH: We went to check out the new 'walk-up' McDonald's that has no dining tables or chairs

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Chipotle just said it will break one of its cardinal rules to win back customers


Read Full Story

Can't get enough business news?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from retailer news to the latest IPOs delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.