Whole Foods Market (WFM) will open the first store under its new “365” banner on May 25 in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, the company said this morning.
The opening date is set for just more than a year after the grocer announced plans to build out a new store concept that would offer customers lower prices than its original stores. The name of the new chain comes from Whole Foods’ private label brand, whose products are modestly priced relative to other brands in the original stores and will be a staple in the new markets.
The Whole Foods executive team made the decision to launch a new brand last year amid a backdrop of fierce competition in the organic food category, as rivals from mainstream and specialty grocers was eating into sales.
The store opening on May 25 will be a window into what has been a closely guarded project for the company. Whole Foods has given few details beyond the basics: The new chain will keep prices down by building smaller stores and by having a smaller product mix.
“The model is one that’s more consistent,” 365 president Jeff Turnas told Fortune. “Cookie cutter is kind of a bad word at Whole Foods, but at 365 we love it.”
Whole Foods however will give each 365 store an individual flavor through partnerships with entrepreneurs, who will hang up their shingles inside supermarket. The Silver Lake location will offer products from the vegan fast-casual brand By Chloe and self-serve tea kiosks from teaBot. Whole Foods-owned Allegro Coffee Company will also have a presence. Turnas said he’s not limited to food options for what the company calls its “friends of 365” program.
The 28,000 square-foot Silver Lake store was in development as a regular Whole Foods when the company decided that it was in the right location and right size to serve as the first 365, Turnas said.
Two other 365 stores will open this year–one in Bellevue, Wash., and the other in Portland, Ore. Up to 10 stores are slated for 2017.