Whole Foods, purveyor of $50 crackers and $100 cheeses, will now court millennials with a new “technology-oriented” store that will also boast cheaper prices and convenience. Are you ready to buy a fair trade banana on fleek?
According to USA Today, the company’s “whole paycheck” reputation for prohibitive pricing has left them without much of a market among younger consumers with less disposable income. The new range of stores will have “streamlined design, innovative technology, and a curated selection,” i.e. the basic purchase requirements for those of us from 18 to 34.
“We think there are certain customers that the Whole Foods brand is attractive to, but there’s others that it’s less attractive to,” announced CEO John Mackey. “We think a streamlined, hip, cool, technology-oriented store—a store unlike one anyone’s ever seen before … is going to be pretty attractive to that particular generation. You can’t envision it yet because no one has. We’re creating it.” There’s something about hearing the words “hip” and “cool” out of CEO’s mouth that just makes me want to… spend money at his store directly targeting me.
Even Walmart and Target have gotten into the grocery game, a fact that Whole Foods claims to have understood before jumping into the crowded space of selling millennials convenient snacks and quick dinners. The company is banking on their reputation for high quality, natural food – and what is surely a truckload of expensive research on millennials – to compete.
Neil Saunders, CEO of retail consulting agency Conlumino, had some such insight into the millennial consumer for USA Today: “They’re much more into piecemeal shopping and buying on the go.” That’s because they’re bad at planning. (In case you haven’t heard, making a grocery list is a much healthier way to shop.)
The new and improved Whole Foods stores will start opening sometime next year. Executives say we can expect more details about where and how many around Labor Day. Let’s play the location guessing game: Brooklyn and Portland first?
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