Whole Foods to open lower-priced chain next year

rbz WholeFoods Domain 32Talk about burying the lead.

In Whole Foods’ quarterly report today, the Austin-based grocer quietly announced that it would be launching a “new, uniquely-branded store concept” that will focus on lower prices and target millennials. (You’ll remember that last week, we did a 10-item price comparison between Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and Whole Foods lost.)

Co-CEO Walter Robb, who did not announce a name for these new stores, said that they are in the planning stages and are negotiating leases for the stores that will open sometime next year. The store said more details would be available by September.

From the report:

“Today, we are excited to announce the launch of a new, uniquely-branded store concept unlike anything that currently exists in the marketplace,” said Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. “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.”

The Company is building a team to focus exclusively on this new concept and is currently negotiating leases. The plan is to begin opening stores next year, and given the more standardized design and product assortment, the Company expects a fairly rapid expansion from there. “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,” added Robb. “We look forward to sharing more details about this exciting new venture sometime before Labor Day.”

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