Amazon-Owned Whole Foods Set To Scrap ‘365’ Division

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The first 365 debuted in the Silver Lake area Los Angeles in May 2016. The stores focused on Whole Foods’ less expensive private label “365 Everyday Value” brand, designed to appeal to a younger demographic as well as to price-conscious shoppers who avoided Whole Foods, which consumer sometimes referred to as “Whole Paycheck.”  The 365 stores are smaller (about 25,000-30,00 square feet) than conventional WFM units (about 38,000 square feet on average, but as large as 80,000 square feet). The smaller format carries far fewer SKUs (7,000 vs. 20,000) and does not feature full service departments like bakery and deli.

As recently as May 2017 (one month before the company was acquired by Amazon for $13.7 billion), Mackey told investors that the company had plans for 22 additional 365 stores in development and that he expected that number to increase.

Currently, there are two dozen 365 locations, in California (5 units), Georgia (2), Texas (2), Ohio, Oregon and New York (Brooklyn). All are currently expected to remain open and operate under the 365 banner.

The first 365 location in our region opened in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn in January 2018. The last two 365 stores opened in December 2018 – in the Buckhead section of Atlanta and in Decatur, GA.

Per the Whole Foods website, as of last month there were 11 planned 365 stores, including two in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. A long-planned location in Fairfax, VA is still on the books and ground has been broken on a new 365 location in Weehawken, NJ, both new urban-type developments.

Other planned new locations are in more advanced construction development. At presstime, the company revealed that it would instead open some of the planned 365 units as conventional Whole Foods stores, but did not provide any details on plans for specific locations.

Oversight of the current 365 stores will be rolled into the retailer’s current regional structure and Jeff Turnas, who has served as president of 365 since 2015, will move to another role at Whole Foods. The company said it would absorb 365 employees into existing Whole Foods divisions.

While there will be no new plans for 365 locations, recent speculation has focused on Whole Foods’ potential interest in now shuttered Sears and Macy’s locations as it seeks to bulk up its bricks-and-mortar presence. According to industry insiders who spoke with Yahoo Finance, Amazon is interested in opening new Whole Foods stores and expanding the chain beyond its current 475 U.S. locations.

Additional bricks-and-mortar locations could also greatly increase the company’s ability to offer in-store pick-up of online orders, as well as provide additional space for Amazon to store more products, a key synergy that could be realized by the combined Amazon-WFM entity.