Whole Foods to bring 365 market to Chicago

Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) will bring 365 by Whole Foods Market, its lower-price natural foods concept, to the Chicago area, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

The company has leased 30,000 sq. ft. in a new shopping plaza in Evergreen Park, Illinois, just outside Chicago, according to people familiar with the deal.

The concept is Whole Foods' answer to the growing demand for natural and organic foods at lower price points than traditionally found at its namesake stores. The Austin-based company is facing competitive pressure from other grocers including Kroger and Aldi, which recently announced it was expanding its selection of natural products and items free from artificial flavors and preservatives.

Whole Foods unveiled the concept in June, saying that 365 by Whole Foods Market will offer lower pricing on natural and organic products. "A modern, streamlined design with innovative technology and a carefully curated product mix will offer an efficient and rewarding way to grocery shop," said Jeff Turnas, president of the new division.

This marks the ninth location identified, and the first in the Chicago market.

For more:
-See this Crain's Chicago Business article (tiered subscription)

Related stories:
Whole Foods unveils '365' format
Whole Foods unveils concept geared toward millennials
Whole Foods expands My Street Grocery
Whole Foods to open 40 new stores
Grocers committed to health and wellness programs, survey says