Whole Foods rents out space to ‘Friends’ in new 365 stores
While smaller in size and less expensive than its parent’s flagships, 365 by Whole Foods Market will also feature “Friends of 365” partnerships with small businesses that will operate independently inside each store.
At its first location to open May 25 in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, a New York-based vegan restaurant named CHLOE will open in a spot adjacent to the fresh produce section. Allegro Coffee Co. will serve coffee and beer at a separate venue while a personalized tea-making experience will be delivered by startup, teaBOT.
“We’ve really dedicated ourselves to partnering with like-minded companies that are doing new and interesting things in their respective field to bring a truly unique shopping experience that complements our thoughtfully curated selection of foods,” said Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods Market, in a statement.
For its second location to open in July in Lake Oswego, OR, two Portland-based eateries — a plant-based burger concept and café and juice bar — will establish in-store shops.
On the Friends of 365 website, applicants offering video submissions are told they “don’t have to be food-related only” with images of women’s dresses, yoga and cycling shown in addition to food and beverage offerings. The application process is closed but will open up again later this year.
Friends of 365 appears to be an extension of programs already tested at Whole Foods. At its Bowery store in lower Manhattan, food truck vendors from Smorgasburg, the popular Brooklyn flea market, occupied the shop’s cafe a month at a time from late 2012 until 2014.
On its fourth-quarter conference call, Ken Meyer, EVP of operations, said 365 is allowing the retailer to aggressively test ideas.
“There’s no culture. There’s no legacy there to overcome,” said Mr. Meyer. “So we can go radical on 365 stores and, assuming those are going to work as well as we think they do, they will serve to help accelerate transformation within the mother brand, Whole Foods Market.”
- Friends of 365
- First 365 by Whole Foods Market to open May 25 in Silver Lake, Calif. – Whole Foods Market
- 365 by Whole Foods Market to open in Lake Oswego, Ore., on July 14 – Whole Foods Market
- CHLOE. Announced as First Friends of 365 Partnership with 365 by Whole Foods Market – Whole Foods Market
- Whole Foods Market and Brooklyn Flea Introduce Smorgasburg Snack Bar – Whole Foods Market
- Whole Foods Market’s (WFM) Co-CEO Walter Robb on Q1 2016 Results – Seeking Alpha
What do you think of the “Friends of 365” in-store shops initiative? How would you assess the pros and cons of setting up independent in-store shops in a grocery store?