Whole Foods to open first 365 store in LA

Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) announced five leases for its new millennial-focused concept, 365 by Whole Foods Market, with store openings scheduled through 2017. The first store will open in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles in the second half of 2016.

Other locations to follow include Bellevue, Washington; Houston; Portland, Oregon; and Santa Monica, California. Then, the company plans to double the number of 365 openings in 2017.

The new concept is meant to reach a broader audience with a quality and value-driven experience.

The original Whole Foods Market currently has 24 locations in the Los Angeles area, one being the location in Silver Lake that will be converted to a 365 store. The revamp makes it possible for the store to open more quickly, using the team members already in place.

"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."

There are 417 Whole Foods in operation and the company expects to reach 500 by 2017. Whole Foods opened a record 13 new stores in 2014 and expanded into seven new markets. Expansion is set to include a variety of storefronts, including My Street Grocery, the retailer's mobile format that operates from a classic trolley car.

For more:
-See this Whole Foods press release

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