This Whole Foods store for millennials could be the company’s future under Amazon

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Reuters

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has signaled that big changes are coming to the grocery chain in the wake of Amazon‘s $13.7 billion bid for the company.

“I don’t know if you know that – they were, like, ranked the number-one most innovative company in the entire world,” founder and CEO John Mackey told investors of Amazon after the deal was announced. “I think we’re gonna get a lot of those innovations in our stores. I think we’re gonna see a lotta technology. I think you’re gonna see Whole Foods Market evolve in leaps and bounds.”

It sounds like Whole Foods traditional store model could soon be replaced entirely by one that resembles a cross between the company’s cheaper chain of stores, called 365 by Whole Foods Market, and Amazon’s newly unveiled grocery store concept with no cashiers, registers, or lines.

Whole Foods has only four 365 stores in operation so far. Here’s what one of them looks like.


When customers walk inside the store, they should be able to see the entire store from where they stand.

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Reuters

That’s because Whole Foods has lowered the height of all fixtures and shelving in the 365 stores to make it easy for customers to find what they need.

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Reuters

The no-frills store looks like a warehouse inside, with fluorescent lighting and minimal decorations.

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Reuters

The prepared food bars, which are typically located on the perimeter of regular Whole Foods stores, is instead located in the center of the store.

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Reuters

Also in the center of the store are iPad kiosks that let customers order food from the on-site kitchen.

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Reuters

Nearby are some express checkouts lanes. These are meant to make the stores more convenient for people who want to make a quick trip for prepared foods or a couple of grocery items. To speed things up, customers will be able to use only Apple Pay and credit cards at the express checkouts.

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Reuters

On the perimeter of the store there’s a “pantry” section offering beer, wine, and other packaged goods. The store offers 400 different types of wine under $20.

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Reuters

An iPad with a digital scanner in this department tells shoppers details about each type of wine, such as where it comes from and how it tastes.

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Reuters

In the produce department, there’s a digital scale for weighing food.

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Reuters

Many sales, like this one, are advertised throughout the store. Analysts have predicted that the new chain’s prices will be as cheap as Trader Joe’s.

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Reuters

The store has digital price tags on everything, enabling it to make price changes quickly and more efficiently.

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Reuters

And while the store doesn’t have a deli, it has a large selection of pre-packaged meats.

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Reuters

The store also offers a machine where shoppers can customize their own tea.

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Reuters

Throughout the store, there were signs for 365’s rewards program, which gives customers free stuff based on past buying behavior.

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Reuters

Customers will get instant savings every time they shop through the rewards program, according to Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods. For example, if you tend to buy bagged lettuce, you might get a reward of a free bag of lettuce for every 10 bags you buy.

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Reuters

The store’s advertising is strongly geared toward health-focused millennials.

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Reuters

Executives are hoping young people will want to hang out at the store, rather than just stop by to shop.

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Reuters

Turnas says the “hangout” factor is what will set 365 apart from its competitors. “Nobody hangs out at Trader Joe’s or Kroger,” he said.

source
Reuters