8 Ways Your Life Will Change When Whole Foods Opens in Your Neighborhood Slideshow
August 25, 2016
The upscale grocery chain has noticeable effects — good and bad
Access to Local Products Improves
Whole Foods makes a commitment to feature local, small scale, food producers. This preference gives neighborhood shoppers easy access to locally produced and artisanal foods.
Food Gets More Expensive
Whole Foods justifies its exorbitant foods prices by claiming their products are a higher quality than competitors. According to one report, most of their items are at least 50 percent more expensive than those at a Trader Joes, Target, or Safeway. That being said, Whole Foods has made a commitment to sell “ugly” produce at a discount. There are also other ways to spend smart at Whole Foods.
Restaurants Cost More
Groceries aren’t the only things that get more expensive when a Whole Foods comes to town. Whole Foods’ effect on property values simultaneously drives up rent for restaurants. That increase in rent is reflected in a higher priced menu. New York City is a perfect example of this effect at work.
Real Estate Becomes More Valuable
On the upside, if you're an owner, Whole Foods will make your house more valuable. A study conducted by RealtyTrac, found that when a Whole Foods enters a neighborhood, there’s a 34 percent increase in home prices in the surrounding ZIP code. Sometimes this real estate appreciation can be even more extreme. In 2009 a Whole Foods opened in downtown Detroit, where the median home value was $19,000; six years later it was $80,000. But, as always, more valuable houses come with more expensive property taxes.
Rent Goes Up
On the other hand, renters suffer. Whole Foods attracts more wealthy residents to a neighborhood, and landlords take advantage.
Upscale Shopping and Boutiques Open
The opening of a Whole Foods indicates to other retail chains, restaurants, and coffee shops that higher income residents are entering the neighborhood. Shortly after a Whole Foods opens, shoppers will likely be able to drink their kombucha while strolling the aisles of Nordstrom and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.