If Whole Foods has its way, millennials will help guide the grocery chain into the future. On Wednesday, the company opened the first location of its new, more affordable offshoot, 365 by Whole Foods Market, in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake.
The store is a direct response to growing complaints that Whole Foods is overpriced. Along with cheaper fare, the new store also offers a variety of tropes associated with the millennial lifestyle—think a craft-brew bar that offers coffee and beer, a vegan restaurant, and a self-serve tea kiosk.
But perhaps the most attractive feature of 365 is the technology, which includes electronic readers that let shoppers weigh their produce, check prices, and print labels with checkout information.
An L.A. Times reporter was on hand at Wednesday’s grand opening and interviewed neighborhood residents about their first impressions. “I think they’re trying to make checkout quicker, which is great,” said Katherine Wellington. “It’s really a fun, exciting vibe, and the prices seem great.”
Jackelyn Valladares, who lives in nearby Echo Park, said she loved the lower prices. “It’s cheaper. As a millennial who grew up in this neighborhood, things were getting so pricey.”
Whole Foods has plans to open a dozen 365 locations across the country over the next 12 years, and by the sounds of it, many more will follow.
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