Attention, young Americans – Whole Foods has an idea that might stoke your interest. How about a grocery store that doesn’t just sell you organic food, but also allows you to get tattooed if you also desire to get inked after grocery shopping?
That’s the premise behind 365 by Whole Foods Market, a soon-to-launch business that is specifically geared toward the millennial crowd. That means it’s going to be all about lower prices, bigger discounts, and a variety of unique features, including the aforementioned tattoo parlor. This is part of a broader group of features known as Whole Food “Friends,” or third-party merchants that run their business inside or near a 365 store.
So what about that tattoo parlor thing? That’s one of the few hipster-esque ideas mooted on the 365 website. “Friends of 365 may be any type of business — from food and drinks to fashion, body care products, services, and more. (Record shop? Tattoo parlor? Maybe!),” reads the copy.
Speaking to Bloomberg News, Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb explained his rationale behind 365. “This is the same company and same set of quality standards,” he said. “It’s just a fresh new format that I think will allow us to take those standards into markets and communities perhaps that Whole Foods Markets never would have been able to go.”
Regarding the focus on millennials, number-crunchers posited that this is because they have the potential to change the game in the U.S. economy. “(Millennials’) unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come,” wrote Goldman Sachs in an infographic about the 35-and-under demo. Figures show that millennials, who were born between 1980 and 2000, number about 92 million in the U.S., outnumbering even the 77 million Baby Boomers in the country.
It’s an interesting concept – budget groceries and third-party stores for a generation weaned on indie music, How I Met Your Mother, and Coachella, rather than grunge, Friends, and Lollapalooza, or classic rock, the original Batman, and the original Woodstock. But will it take off? Take note that Whole Food shares are still down 45 percent year-over-year, with the company’s sales statistics consistently flagging. The concept is novel, but as it stands, the stakes may be high.
UPDATED 2/14/2016 – Quote from 365 website