The newest grocery store to the Eastside, 365 by Whole Foods, is looking to set itself apart by touting lower costs, healthy choices, and convenience to shoppers.
The new store will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday. It is the third location of 365 by Whole Foods, joining Los Angeles and Lake Oswego.
At a press preview event, 365 by Whole Foods made sure to emphasize that it’s different from its parent store Whole Foods. One of the things that distinguishes it is lower costs to consumers.
“(We want to) not allow people to have the feeling of ‘I can’t believe I just spent that much money,’” said Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods.
That’s why most of the store, with a few rare exceptions, is priced by container. Unlike the traditional Whole Foods chain, which prices salad and hot bars and produce by the pound, 365 tries to keep costs — and sticker shock — at a minimum for customers. After all, who hasn’t had that “oh my gosh” feeling when they ring up their piled high salad bar salad.
So, at 365 by Whole Foods, the hot bar comes with different container sizes all at a flat rate.
“We really want people to be able to use the store no matter what budget they’re on,” Turnas said.
One of the ways the store keeps costs down is by eliminating labor costs. Unlike a traditional Whole Foods, there’s no butcher or cheesemonger on site. Instead, there’s grab-it-yourself style meats and cheese.
Turnas compared the store to what he defines as the “theater” that is shopping at Whole Foods.
“(365) is like the matinee version,” he said.
Another way that the store cuts labor costs is that the produce section — and really the store in general — is more utilitarian. For example, the produce is displayed in boxes as opposed to neatly and artfully displayed like it is at the other Whole Foods chains.
“It’s definitely a different model from Whole Foods,” said Natanya Anderson, senior director of marketing for 365 by Whole Foods.
After the grand opening, the store will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at 10200 Northeast Fourth St. at Bellevue Square. From inside the mall, the store can be found underneath Zara and UNIQLO.