Whole Foods Bringing 365 to Atlanta

New units in Decatur and Buckhead open this week as value concept grows
365 Whole Foods
Illustration courtesy of Whole Foods

Grocery stores in Atlanta are set to absorb a little more competition as Whole Foods Market brings its 365 concept to two locations in the city for the first time this week.

The new 365 units are set to open Dec. 12 in Decatur and Buckhead. 365 is the price-focused interpretation of Whole Foods’ full-line stores, utilizing fewer service departments, outsourced foodservice and a curated product assortment highlighted by its private brands. Analysts say 365 provides Whole Foods with a cost-effective means to expand while reaching price-sensitive and transitioning mainstream shoppers.

The Decatur and Buckhead units would bring the 365 concept to 12 locations overall. Its first store opened in Los Angeles in 2016.

“For the first time in company history, Whole Foods Market is opening two stores in the same market on the same day, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce the Decatur and Northside Buckhead communities to the Whole Foods Market 365 concept, and our curated, high-quality and reasonably priced product selection,” Jeff Turnas, president of Whole Foods Market 365, said in a release.

Turnas said the stores would debut a concept called “365 Faves,” what he described as a limited selection of new products available for a limited time. Both the Decatur and Buckhead stores will feature an on-site Mexican cuisine-focused restaurant, Loteria Grill, from chef Jimmy Shaw. The in-store eateries will serve as the first locations for the Los Angeles-based restaurant in the Atlanta area.

The Decatur unit will have a self-serve beer and wine station known as “Pour de Leon” and house the fourth location for Dtox Juice, an Atlanta-based juice company. Decatur will also include an arcade-style lounge area with free console video games, including Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man.

Sublime Tree, a cold-pressed juice maker, will be opening its second location in the Buckhead store.

Atlanta has seen some new competition, including a rash of Sprouts Farmers Market stores in recent years, although with 5.6 million residents, Atlanta is a big pie. According to Metro Market Studies, grocery market share in the Atlanta metro region is fairly evenly divided between Kroger (23.9%), Publix (23.6%) and Walmart (21.6%). Whole Foods, with eight stores in the region, currently controls about 1.7% of the market, as does Sprouts behind 16 of its stores, Metro Market’s 2018 guide said.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, also said this week that its new full-line store in Newtown Square, Pa., would open June 18.




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