Whole Foods Is Closing All of Their Budget 365 Stores
After Whole Foods announced in January that it would stop expanding their line of slightly more cost-effective "365" branded stores, the company has decided not to keep any existing ones open either, and will close them all.
While there were only 12 of these stores nationwide, many consumers had expressed excitement about the growth of a wallet-friendly option to combat the store's "whole paycheck" reputation when Whole Foods made the announcement in 2016.
All 12 of the 365 stores are now set to become regular Whole Foods Markets. Every store will remain open during the transformation process and will not disrupt shoppers’ experience, Yahoo! Finance reported. Since the 365 stores were focused on carrying private-label products, they are smaller than typical Whole Foods retail locations, and will likely offer fewer services, such as full-service meat counters. However, they will begin to offer more products than the 365 stores currently do now.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, initially attributed the halt of 365 expansion to the company’s attempt to lower prices in all of their stores and that the need for these lower-end stores would become obsolete with their efforts to diminish price gaps with Amazon.
However, the prices of hundreds of items are actually on the rise. If you live near a 365 store, enjoy it while you can, but know you will still be able to purchase many of your favorite private-label items even after it converts to a Whole Foods.