Whole Foods Announces It’s Closing All of Its Cheaper 365 Offshoots
Say goodbye to “365 by Whole Foods Market” stores! The short-lived, nominally cheaper versions of the upscale supermarket have flopped and are being transformed back into regular Whole Foods stores.
After announcing the decision to stop expanding locations of 365 in January, Whole Foods has decided not to do away with the properties, but rather to repurpose all 12 of the 365 locations nationwide as regular Whole Foods stores.
“We have decided that it’s in the best long-term interest of the company to concentrate our efforts on growing the core Whole Foods Market brand moving forward,” Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said in an internal memo, according to Supermarket News. He says the decision is based on the fact that regular Whole Foods stores are lowering their prices (even though some feel that it’s an illusion), so the company sees less of a need for their version of a bargain store.
“As we have been consistently lowering prices in our core Whole Foods Market stores over the past year, the price distinction between the two brands has become less relevant,” Mackey continued. “As the company continues to focus on lowering prices over time, we believe that the price gap will further diminish.”
Yahoo Finance is relating the 365 closures to another cause. They say the small-format chain, which currently boasts locations in California, Ohio, Texas, Georgia, New York and Oregon, was not thriving — and that many of the new Whole Foods that were slated to open this year and in the previous year were meant to be 365 stores but were opened as regular Whole Foods due to 365’s underwhelming performance.
According to the publication, the stores will remain open as they are restructured into regular Whole Foods. Due to their small size, the future Whole Foods stores may lack certain amenities such as a butcher counter.
The Daily Meal has reached out to Whole Foods for comment.
The first 365 store opened in the trendy Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake in 2016. Like all 365 and Whole Foods locations, it carried 365 Everyday Value products, as well as a few local and branded products.
The Silver Lake complex is also home to the only By Chloe restaurant location in Los Angeles. The vegan spot has a cult-like following among cool New Yorkers, and it attracted much of the foot traffic to the adjoining 365 store. It quickly became one of the 40 places in LA you’re likely to see celebrities.