The 365 store will open next year as part of the organic grocer’s move to up its game against the likes of Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods also will open a full-fledged store in Kirkland’s Totem Lake area in 2017.
Bellevue will be home to one of the first small-format stores deployed by Whole Foods Market as the organic-foods giant seeks to up its game against the likes of Trader Joe’s.
The new format, dubbed 365 just like the company’s house brand, is expected to offer cheaper items and less variety than the full-fledged Whole Foods stores, while at the same time being “hip.” It will open in the second half of 2016 at the Bellevue Square Mall, in the South Commons section that formerly housed JC Penney.
The first 365 store will open in the Silver Lake area of L.A., Whole Foods executives announced in a conference call Wednesday. In addition to the Bellevue store, three other 365 stores will open next year in Santa Monica, Calif., Portland and Houston.
Whole Foods is battling against smaller formats such as Trader Joe’s, which have proved successful with millennials. It’s also competing with conventional retailers and with Issaquah-based Costco Wholesale, which according to analysts has recently surpassed the Austin, Texas-based retailer as the country’s largest seller of organic food.
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Whole Foods also said Wednesday that it would open a full-size store in Kirkland, at the former Totem Lake Mall. That 40,000-square-foot location will open in the summer of 2017, and will be the first Whole Foods in Kirkland.
In addition to eight Whole Foods stores already open in Washington, three stores are being developed in Capitol Hill, West Seattle and Bellingham. The Kirkland store will create 150 long-term jobs, the company said.
Whole Foods cuts outlook
NEW YORK — Whole Foods cut its sales forecast for the year after its quarterly profit and sales fell short of expectations amid intensifying competition.
The company said sales in existing stores edged up 1.3 percent for the three-month period ending July 5. That’s down from the 3.9 percent increase in the year-ago period. And in the current quarter so far, the company said sales were up just 0.6 percent.
For the full fiscal year, Whole Foods now expects sales at established locations to rise in the low single digits, down from the previous forecast of growth in the low- to mid-single digits.
Whole Foods Market is trying to find new ways to drive up sales as organic foods become more widely available. At the same time, it’s also trying to appeal to a broader audience by shaking its “Whole Paycheck” image and offering more affordable prices.
“In this rapidly changing marketplace, we believe we are taking the necessary steps to position ourselves for the longer term,” Co-CEO Walter Robb said in a statement.
In May, the company said it would open a new chain of smaller stores with lower prices starting next year.
For the third quarter ended July 5, the company earned $154 million, or 43 cents per share. Analysts expected 45 cents per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Total revenue was $3.63 billion, also short of the $3.7 billion analysts expected.
Shares of Whole Foods dropped 10 percent to $36.90 in after-hours trading.
— The Associated Press