Whole Foods Is Officially Shuttering Their Smaller-Format 365 Stores

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Jonathan Weiss)

In news that will surprise nobody who follows the grocery industry closely (which, let’s be honest, may be just me), Whole Foods announced that it is going to completely kill off its 365 brand of stores. You may remember that the smaller shops were designed to be a lower-priced Trader Joe’s competitor aimed at younger, more dollar-conscious shoppers. You might also remember that Whole Foods kicked off this year by announcing they would no longer open any new locations of the brand. Now, reports Yahoo! Finance, they are converting all of the existing 365 stores into standard Whole Foods stores.

That’s not too big of a deal for most people — after all, there are only 12 of the 365 brand shops left around the country. But it will be interesting to see what they do with the stores, since the footprint of the shop is different than what a normal Whole Foods would look like (they tend to be much smaller and lack the full-service counters that are hallmarks of the bigger brand).

In the two years since Amazon purchased Whole Foods, grocery watchers (again, a category that might just be me), have been keeping an eye on changes to the main brand, but the biggest moves seem to have come with the smaller 365 shops. Originally, the plan was to expand the brand, with more than 20,000 stores to come. But after only a few opened, the stores were not performing as well as hoped, the tide turned, and ones that were planned got scrapped and turned into traditional Whole Foods.

As Whole Foods dropped prices with the change, the two stores started to get closer and the distinction disappeared. Meanwhile, Amazon had its own convenience-style brand, Amazon Go, which occupied a similar place in the market and received a lot of press for its cashier-less systems. So, in the end, they saw no reason to keep the 365 brand going, and the 12 existing stores will rebrand shortly.