Openings and Closings

Whole Foods Market Planning Lower-Priced Chain

With its fresh flowers, local produce, and humanely sourced proteins, Whole Foods Market offers a lovely shopping experience — until you get sticker shock at the checkout counter.

The Texas-based chain, which has gotten the nickname "Whole Paycheck," has announced a change of heart and a new concept.

The chain has announced its new concept of smaller, lower-cost stores.

The announcement was made by Whole Foods' co-CEO, Walter Robb, along with the company's second-quarter earnings (with total sales increasing 10 percent to a record $3.6 billion), saying, "Today we are excited to announce the launch of a new, uniquely branded store concept unlike anything that currently exists in the marketplace.

"Offering our industry-leading standards at value prices, this new format will feature a modern, streamlined design, innovative technology, and a curated selection. It will deliver a convenient, transparent, and values-oriented experience geared toward millennial shoppers, while appealing to anyone looking for high-quality fresh food at great prices."

Hyperbole aside, it sounds like the as-yet-unnamed offshoot of Whole Foods is going after fans of lower-priced shopping alternatives like Trader Joe's that feature GMO-free food at low prices in a fun environment.

As yet, there's not much more information regarding when we'll see these new stores or if they'll even turn up in Florida. Right now, the company is building a team to focus exclusively on this new concept and is negotiating leases, with a goal of opening the first stores in 2016, with Robb adding, "We believe the growth potential for this new and complimentary brand to be as great as it is for our highly successful Whole Foods Market brand."

According to Whole Foods, further information (and, hopefully, a name) will be released before Labor Day. 

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss