Decision to close the Bellevue location was made before the company’s merger with Amazon, officials say

About a year after 365 by Whole Foods Market opened in Bellevue Square, the company announced it will close this Saturday at 10 p.m.

The 365 by Whole Foods Market stores are the company’s sister brand, typically offering products at a lower price.

“The decision was made by company leadership prior to the Amazon merger after careful evaluation of both store performance and the site challenges that exist for successfully operating a grocery store,” said Robin Kelly, global PR director for Whole Foods, in a written statement.

Though the decision was made by Whole Foods prior to the August merger, the employees were not notified until last night, according to Kelly’s statement, and approximately 50 team members work at that location.

“We will continue to serve the Bellevue community with our neighboring Whole Foods Market store and are offering all team members who qualify positions at other locations,” she said in her statement.

425 Business inquired why the employees weren’t notified sooner, what performance challenges the location had, and what could become of the 365 space at Bellevue Square mall, but Kelly said there were no further details to disclose.

In Kelly’s statement, she said Whole Foods is continuing with the 365 brand — there are currently five other locations — and there are plans to open a “variety” of markets, including a location in the San Francisco Bay area opening Dec. 6, and its first New York City location in early 2018.

All products at the Bellevue location will be 50 percent off until the store closes. In an email to subscribers early this morning, Whole Foods said, “as a thank you to our shoppers” it’s offering $10 off $50 on your next purchase at any of the six greater Seattle-area Whole Foods Market stores.

425 Business contacted Amazon, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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