Want to get a tattoo at Whole Foods (WFM) along with some kale?
The food retailer, keen to make its upcoming “365” chain of smaller format stores aimed at shoppers on a budget (read millennials) stand out from the crowded grocery space, is considering everything from body art parlors to record stores within the stores.
The new chain’s website, “Friends of 365,” hints at any number of businesses that shoppers could find at the ‘365’ stores, the first of which is set to open in Los Angeles in May. “We like to mix things up,” Whole Foods proclaims on the site, set up to line up suppliers and vendors. “Friends of 365 may be any type of business — from food and drinks to fashion, body care products, services, and more. (Record shop? Tattoo parlor? Maybe!)”
That doesn’t mean Whole Foods will actually open tattoo parlors. But it does reflect the need for Whole Foods to go beyond the tried and true as it launches “365,” all the more given that growth is slowing at its full-service stores.
The company has so far signed a total of 13 leases for the 365 chain. The ‘365’ stores will be smaller and focus more on value and convenience.
“We can go radical on 365 stores,” Co-CEO John Mackey told Wall Street analysts on a conference call last week. “Whole Foods Market is undergoing a very fundamental transformation.” He added: “Some of it is beginning to show up, but we’ll see more of it in the next few quarters.”
Comparable sales, which excludes the impact of newly opened stores, fell 1.8% last quarter. Whole Foods expects total sales to rise 3% to 5%, meaning it expects “comps” to be flat to down 2%.