Retailers

Whole Foods Crowds the Coasts

Plans to open five new stores this month
Photograph courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Fall is new store season for many grocers, including Whole Foods Market which opened new stores in Denver and Jacksonville Beach, Fla., earlier this month, and plans to open an additional three locations in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Sherman Oaks and Sunnyvale, Calif., by the end of October.

The new Florida and California locations are opening in markets already saturated with grocery stores. Its 47,000-square-foot store at 501 SE 17th St. in Fort Lauderdale, slated to open Oct. 28, will compete with multiple Publix stores in the vicinity, as well as Stop & Shop and Winn-Dixie.

Highlights of the Ft. Lauderdale store include sushi rolls, poke bowls and wok-fired dishes from Sushi Maki, a Friends of Whole Foods Market venue, as well as a Coffee Bar with on-tap offerings including nitro cold-brew, nitro tea, wine and local beer from a variety of producers.

Whole Foods Market also will open its new 54,000-square-foot store located at 14311 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, Calif., on Oct. 28. The new store is just 1.4 miles from another Sherman Oaks Whole Foods Market on Sepulveda Blvd. Competition is fierce in the area with several Gelson’s Markets, three Ralphs and a Trader Joe’s all nearby.

Special features of the new Sherman Oaks store include a Sherman Hops taproom offering 30 beers on tap from local breweries, seasonal wine and food items like cauliflower nachos and tacos, a Truff hot chicken sandwich and Baja fish tacos.

The Austin-based grocer is also expanding its footprint in Northern California with a new 56,573-square-foot store located at 150 E. McKinley Ave., in Sunnyvale that is set to open Oct. 29. A Sprout’s Farmers Market just minutes away will be its main competitor. Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Target are also in the mix.

As with its other new locations, Whole Foods Market appears to be distinguishing itself from the competition with special features in the Sunnyvale store including an in-store Floodcraft Brewing Co., featuring beers on tap, cocktails-to-go and a to-go food menu, which includes burgers and fries. Meanwhile, Frankie and Haandi, an Indian-inspired street-food-style venue will offer colorful and flavorful items such as Chicken Tikka wraps and Sunny Haandi, a warm veggie and chickpea bowl.

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