Millennials, look out: Whole Foods has its eyes on you. The Austin-based supermarket giant is launching a new, separate chain specifically tailored to meet the needs of that younger audience.
What that means: a more streamlined design, with an emphasis on technology, and lower prices in an effort to combat its pricey "Whole Paycheck" reputation. The company announced its plans during a quarterly financial report on May 6.
"Today, we are excited to announce the launch of a new, uniquely branded store concept unlike anything that currently exists in the marketplace," said co-chief executive officer Walter Robb. "Offering our industry-leading standards at value prices, this new format will feature a modern, streamlined design; innovative technology; and a curated selection.
"It will deliver a convenient, transparent and values-oriented experience geared toward millennial shoppers, while appealing to anyone looking for high-quality fresh food at great prices."
Robb said that the company is "building a team" to focus on this new concept and negotiating leases. No announcements were made on locations. The plan is to begin opening stores in 2016, with a "rapid expansion" anticipated.
While Whole Foods also announced plans this week to open a new Houston store in Midtown, a hotbed of millennials, a spokesperson did not know if it would feature the new concept. Since the new store will be 40,000 square feet, about the size of the new Voss store, it appears likely to feature the more upscale Whole Foods concept.
"We believe the growth potential for this new and complementary brand to be as great as it is for our highly successful Whole Foods Market brand," Robb added. "We look forward to sharing more details about this exciting new venture sometime before Labor Day."
CultureMap editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh contributed to this article.