Whole Foods says it will name its new chain of smaller stores with lower prices after its "365 Everyday Value" house brand. Co-CEO Walter Robb says the chain will be named "365 by Whole Foods Market," a nod to the brand already sold by the grocery chain. While 365-branded products will anchor the stores, the chain will also have other items, including national brands. The new chain, which is slated to begin opening next year, comes as Whole Foods seeks to differentiate itself amid intensifying competition. The company, which has more than 400 Whole Foods stores, has seen its sales growth slow as organic and natural products have become more widely available at mainstream supermarket chains and big-box retailers.
In its initial announcement, Whole Foods said the new chain would be "geared toward millennials." But Robb says that while 365 is inspired by younger generations, it's intended to appeal to anyone who wants a quick, convenient way to shop. It will have a smaller, more neighborhood feel, a "streamlined" selection, and "technology woven in," he says. Jeff Turnas, president of the 365 chain, envisions people stopping in at 365 stores during the week when they want to get in and out of stores, with the regular Whole Foods stores being destinations for bigger shopping trips. Whole Foods says it plans to open five to 10 of the 365-branded stores around the country next year, and that it sees potential for the chain to eventually have as big a footprint as its namesake chain. (Read more Whole Foods stories.)