Whole Foods Drops 365 Banner Name
AUSTIN, TX - Whole Foods is pulling a Mariah because she (Whole Foods) doesn’t know discount chain 365 anymore. Last month, CEO John Mackey informed staff in an internal email that Whole Foods was halting the growth of its 365 stores. This week, Yahoo Finance broke the news that the grocery retailer is moving forward with that plan. Rather than close the 12-store chain, Whole Foods will be converting its 365 stores into its original Whole Foods banner.
“We have decided that it’s in the best long-term interest of the company to concentrate our efforts on growing the core Whole Foods Market brand moving forward,” Mackey wrote in the initial email.
While people close to the matter noted that the transformation will not be too disruptive, store signages, product assortments, and back-end distributions will be changing as Whole Foods refurbishes its 25,000- to 30,000-square-foot 365 stores to conventional supermarkets.
“Amazon is focused on making Whole Foods for the general population, not just an upscale more healthy minded population. They’re focused on Amazon Go, those stores, and they’re focused on delivery,” Phil Lempert, Grocery Industry Analyst at Supermarket Guru, told Yahoo Finance. “So, it [365 stores] really didn’t have a place to fit in what I think is the plan that Amazon has.”
Whole Foods has already converted a few of its 365 stores and is even working on turning unopened locations into its original brand. The plan in-full is set to be completed by the end of the year.
While many close to the matter have cited prices and low performance as reasons for this shift, could this new strategy also allude to something bigger up Amazon and Whole Foods’ sleeves? AndNowUKnow will continue to keep you up-to-date.