Whole Foods 365 adds 'friends,' reveals interior

Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) has been slowly releasing information regarding its new 365 by Whole Foods concept, and the latest shows a no-frills, scaled-down format featuring mostly packaged and prepared foods at lower prices.

The concept will also feature Whole Food's first loyalty program that rewards shoppers with free merchandise based on past purchases.

The store will have roughly one third of the products found in a traditional Whole Foods, with the store's center devoted to prepared foods, according to Business Insider.

Fewer inside embellishments will help keep costs down and digital price tags will allow management to make adjustments more quickly.

And of course, there will be opportunities for shoppers to stay awhile, something the company hopes will help set it apart. The chain's Friends of Whole Foods program is bringing in partner businesses to create more unique environments and offers services such as the TeaBOT planned for the first Los Angeles location opening May 25.

The second 365 location in Lake Oswego, Oregon will host two new "friends" that originate in Portland, Oregon: Next Level Burger, a plant-based take on the classic American burger joint and Canteen, a fresh and healthy cafe and juice bar.

Whole Foods is tailoring each new store to the market it serves, and market research stressed the priority that Portland residents place on supporting local businesses.

"Oregon is known throughout the country for an extremely creative and diverse food scene, and we wanted to find partners that would be reflective of those qualities," said Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods Market. "We've made it a point to keep an open mind during the selection process, considering anything and everything. This time it was the team in the Pacific Northwest that helped us discover friends for this new store."

The Oregon store will open July 14.

For more:
- see this Business Insider story
- see this Whole Foods press release

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