Whole Foods Sans the Food
By George Anderson
Whole Foods’ new lifestyle concept store will have lots of natural and organic products. None of them, however, will be food.
The natural foods store chain announced it is opening its first “lifestyle” concept store on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood in late October. The store will sell clothing,
housewares and hemp curtains, all with an earth-friendly bent.
Neil Currie, retail analyst with investment bank UBS, told Reuters, “The opening of this store is interesting. It is showing that Whole Foods is thinking of ways it can build
strong brand equity. It’s a sensible approach and a low-risk way of the company testing out a new concept to move into new product categories.”
Among the products to be offered in the concept store are organic blue jeans, recycled handbags and paint that is free from potentially harmful compounds.”
The store will also feature the Edun Clothing line by U2 lead singer Bono, and organic and sweatshop free t-shirts from American Apparel.
Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to Whole Foods new concept? Do you see the chain building larger stores that combine the new concept with
its new larger food stores – an organic supercenter, so to speak? –
George Anderson – Moderator