There’s good news for Pico residents: Whole Foods Market will open their new store at Pico/Cloverfield on Wednesday. However, the opening comes with some bad news for Downtown residents as the Pico store will replace the location at 5th/Wilshire and Sunday will be the last day for Downtown store.
While not exactly “good news” there is a small silver lining for Whole Foods fanatics downtown as the Wilshire location will offer 50 percent off through the weekend.
The new Pico store is part of a Whole Foods’ 365 concept and will differ slightly from the established Whole Foods model.
“The 30,000-square-foot store takes ‘neighborhood grocery store’ to the next level with its mix of grab-and-go prepared foods, grocery items, unique venues and retail innovations that streamline the shopping experience,” said Janette Rizk, Public Relations spokesperson for Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific Region. “Venues include local Groundwork coffee bar and Asian Box, which will offer 100 percent gluten-free, Asian-inspired street food.”
According to Whole Foods, the 365-brand will feature a curated mix of products in an environment that the company describes as fun and convenient for shoppers. The official announcement described the brand as “bringing fresh, healthy foods to a broader audience with a streamlined, quality-meets-value shopping experience.”
The first Los Angeles 365 store opened last year in Silver Lake and the company is expanding the concept this year.
“We’re excited to bring the 365 experience to Santa Monica,” said Jeff Turnas, president of Whole Foods Market 365 earlier this year. “This new location gives us an opportunity to bring the Santa Monica community the best of Whole Foods Market 365 with a streamlined shopping experience focused on quality and value, plus two amazing Friends partnerships.”
The new stores are expected to heavily feature Whole Foods store-brand products and to be competitive with stores like Trader Joe’s.
Rizk said Wednesday’s grand opening will include giveaways. She said the first 365 shoppers will receive coffee, pastries and reusable shopping bags. A DJ will be performing on the patio and there will be additional giveaways throughout the day.
She said the company’s free digital loyalty program, 365 Rewards, will give customers special offers and free products as well as a standing 10 percent discount on more than 100 items every day. New rewards members will also receive $5 off a $25 purchase.
The Pico neighborhood is home to the only Trader Joe’s in Santa Monica but the city has a competitive market for grocery stores. Whole Foods will continue to operate traditional stores on Montana and a location at 22nd/Wilshire (plus a large store just outside city borders in Venice). In addition, Santa Monica has three Von’s/Pavilion’s plus Gelson’s and Bristol Farms.
Employees at the Downtown store will be transferred to the Pico store or another nearby location.
For additional information visit 365bywholefoods.com.