In preparation for the launch of its streamlined, value-oriented store format, Whole Foods Market has announced that it signed the first five leases for its initial 365 by Whole Foods Market stores.
The company stated that it had secured leases for stores that will operate in Bellevue, WA, Houston, Portland, OR, and Santa Monica, CA, as well as in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, which will be the first format that will open.
Whole Foods Market already operates 24 locations in the Los Angeles area. It renegotiated the lease for the Silver Lake store in development, the company noted, converting it from a standard store to a 365 by Whole Foods Market unit. In that way, Whole Foods will open its doors more quickly than it would have otherwise, while capitalizing on operational efficiencies and the team member base already available in the vicinity.
“We are really excited about the progress we have made with securing real estate in markets where there is high demand for both quality food and value in a convenient format,” said Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods Market. “We think the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles is an ideal community to plant our first 365 store flag and bring a modern shopping experience that draws from the best innovations of Whole Foods Market stores and gives them a new expression. With a fresh format and unique product assortment, we think 365 will offer convenience and value while providing the quality standards and transparency that consumers love and expect.”
The first store locations are slated to open in the second half of 2016. The company said it plans to double the number of 365 by Whole Foods Market store openings in 2017.