Wait … did Whole Foods just open a bodega on Manhattan’s Westside?
Whole Foods has opened a “bodega-like convenience store” in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, according to Eater.
The store, known as Whole Foods Market Daily Shop, includes self-checkout kiosks not commonly associated with the organic grocery chain. The product selection is focused on locally-sourced grab-and-go items including breads from Balthazar and doughnuts from Dunwell and Dough.
Allegro Coffee runs the store’s coffee bar, which also sells fresh juice and kombucha. Also present is an açaí bowl station with a wide variety of toppings. A small number of bar chairs are available for customers who want to eat in the Chelsea store.
The smaller store also stocks traditional grocery categories as well as space for health and beauty care items, including travel sizes.
This is not the first time that Whole Foods has experimented with concepts outside of its standard supermarket model. In January, the company announced it would end its test of the 365 by Whole Foods concept after it failed to produce the results management wanted.
The format was originally compared to Trader Joe’s with its heavy focus on Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value store brands. Given the private label emphasis, Whole Foods believed prices could be competitive with Trader Joe’s and conventional grocers that sell similar products.
In the end, Whole Foods management concluded that steps it has taken to dispel its “Whole Paycheck” image for its full-line stores since being acquired by Amazon.com were sufficient and there was no longer a need for the 365 concept.
- Whole Foods Plants a Bodega-Like Shop in Chelsea – Eater
- Whole Foods halts 365 concept’s growth – RetailWire
- Analyst: Whole Foods’ lower price claims are mostly ‘noise’ – RetailWire
- Will ‘365 by Whole Foods’ spell trouble for Trader Joe’s? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think a convenience store concept in busy city neighborhoods makes sense for Whole Foods? What do you see as the challenges and opportunities facing Whole Foods Market Daily Shop?