Emerging Brands

Whole Foods unveils small-format store for urban markets

The first Whole Foods Market Daily Shop will offer groceries as well as grab-and-go meals and a cafe concept called Juice & Java.
The new Whole Foods store will feature a cafe concept called Juice & Java. | Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market is introducing a new small-format store designed to provide customers in urban neighborhoods a fast, convenient shopping experience—and a place to grab a quick meal.  Each unit will feature a cafe as well as a selection of grab-and-go foods.

Ranging between 7,000 and 14,000 square feet, the size of many traditional convenience stores, the locations are about a quarter to half the footprint of an average 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods grocery store, paving the way for expansion in dense, metropolitan areas, the retailer said.

The new format, called Whole Foods Market Daily Shop, will offer groceries, grab-and-go meals and a cafe concept called Juice & Java, making it a potential competitor for big city restaurants. 

The first location will open on the Upper East Side in Manhattan with additional stores in New York City to follow.

The company expects the first store, located at 1175 Third Ave., to open this year. Following the New York City launch, Whole Foods Market plans to bring the format to other cities across the country.

“In bustling hubs like Manhattan where proximity matters, these stores will bring Whole Foods Market closer to existing customers, while extending the company’s reach to others in surrounding neighborhoods,” the company said in announcing the concept.

The retailer opened a 2,500-square-foot small-format store concept under the same name in New York in 2019. Consumer response to that successful pilot prompted a wider rollout of this concept, Whole Foods Market confirmed to CSP, a sister publication of Restaurant Business.

Whole Foods Market Daily Shop will offer grab-and-go meals and snacks, weekly essentials and a “quick, easy” destination to pick up ingredients to complete a meal, with all items meeting the company’s quality standards. The stores will still offer much of the traditional Whole Foods products mix, including a selection of fresh, seasonal produce, meat and seafood; prepared foods such as sandwiches and pre-packed meals; breads; alcohol; and supplements, as well as a handpicked range of local specialties and the company’s 365 by Whole Foods Market private-label brand.

The location that the company expects to open this year will be the first Whole Foods store in Manhattan to offer Juice & Java, a venue for coffee, tea, fresh pressed juices, smoothies, sandwiches, soups and desserts.

“We’re excited to introduce a new way for our customers to quickly pick up their Whole Foods Market favorites—from grab-and-go meals to that last-minute dinner ingredient—making the early-morning or after-work grocery trips more efficient and enjoyable,” said Christina Minardi, executive vice president growth and development for Whole Foods Market and Amazon. 

Founded in 1980, Austin-based Whole Foods is a leading natural and organic foods retailer with more than 530 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with more than 75 stores in the pipeline. Seattle-based Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017.

This story first appeared on CSPdailynews.com, a sister publication of Restaurant Business.

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