Inside Whole Foods First Store Targeted Specifically at Millennials

Everyone’s heard the “Whole Paycheque” joke in reference to the pricy grocery chain, Whole Foods Market.

Of course, most of us would love to shop at the expertly curated and health-conscious grocery on the regular – if only it wouldn’t eat up most of our rent money. Now, the first of the company’s new chain of stores targeting millennials, called 365 by Whole Foods Market, has finally opened its first location.

The company couldn’t have picked a better location to test the waters of the millennial market. The first 365 store opened its doors in the artsy, eclectic Los Angeles neighbourhood of Silver Lake yesterday.

One thing is for sure; this is not the Whole Foods you know.

Gone are the frills – it’s all about function. This means elements like lowered shelves so that customers can easily grab what they need, with a warehouse-like feel, industrial lighting and minimal design features. Rather than a fancy grocery store, 365 feels more like a tech-heavy No Frills.

The prepared food bars – a major draw for millennials on the move – are located in the centre of the store, unlike the traditional Whole Foods stores, where they’re on the perimeter of the store. Another timesaving perk – also located in the centre of the store – are iPad kiosks that let customers order food from the on-site kitchen.

Naturally, the grocery store also features express checkouts, where, for the sake of efficiency, customers use Apple Pay and credit cards.

One of the best parts of the store is a “pantry” section, offering beer, wine, and other packaged goods. The store offers – wait for it – over 400 different types of wine for under $20. The wine section is even complete with a digital scanner to tell shoppers details about each type of wine, like its region and taste (no, it won’t suggest a gourmet cheese pair it with, but we can help you out here).

Absent from the store is a formal deli, but you will find a large selection of pre-packaged meats.

Other perks include digital scales in the produce department to weigh food and print labels, a machine where shoppers can customize their own tea and a rewards system that promises instant savings.

Throughout the store the advertising confirms a focus on millennials who are both budget and health conscious (as do the prices).

The grocery chain plans to open 12 more smaller “Half Paycheque” (had to) concept stores over the next two years across the US. There’s no word yet on when it will hit Canada, but we will be first to let you know.