Whole Foods sets opening date for first low-price supermarket in Austin area
Mark your calendars: Whole Foods’ first 365 store in Texas is scheduled to open April 26 in Cedar Park.
The Cedar Park store, along the U.S. Highway 183A toll road near New Hope Drive, will be the fourth location in the 365 chain, a lower-price concept designed to appeal to younger shoppers and to help shed Whole Foods’ “Whole Paycheck” reputation.
Two Austin companies, Easy Tiger and JuiceLand, will be featured in the Cedar Park store through the Friends of 365 program. Easy Tiger will offer its full menu, including beer, wine, coffee, and baked goods, and JuiceLand will serve snacks, juices, and smoothies.
John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Austin-based Whole Foods, says the Cedar Park store will be a “2.0” version of existing 365 stores. “It’s going to have all these new bells and whistles that we’ve learned from our first three stores,” Mackey says.
The three existing 365 stores opened last year in Bellevue, Washington, a Seattle suburb; Lake Oswego, Oregon, a Portland suburb; and the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
What will be different about the 365 store in Cedar Park? One change will be a broader mix of products, says David Lannon, executive vice president of operations at Whole Foods. For instance, shoppers will find more bulk goods, and more vitamins and body care products, Lannon says.
Lannon promises that with the Cedar Park store, along with stores set to open later this year in Santa Monica, California, and Akron, Ohio, “you’re going to see a lot of improvements” compared with the three current locations. “It’s in the DNA of Whole Foods to really innovate,” Lannon says.
Whole Foods is proceeding slowly with expanding the 365 concept; as many as 10 stores are on tap to open this year. Whole Foods hasn’t said when it might open a 365 store in Austin.
“We remain optimistic about the future growth potential for our 365 format,” Mackey says, “but want to see how this next round of stores perform before getting more aggressive.”
Whole Foods rolled out the 365 concept last May with the debut of the Los Angeles store.
“From the food offerings to the store’s design, we’ve built a foundation on the quality standards you’ve come to expect from Whole Foods Market in a fun new format that’s easy to navigate and focused on value in every department,” Jeff Turnas, president of the 365 chain, said when the L.A. store opened.