Fri. Apr 19th, 2024
  • Whole Foods is opening five new mini-stores in New York City.
  • Called “Whole Foods Market Daily Shop,” they’ll be a fraction of the size of a normal Whole Foods.
  • It’s not the first time Amazon has tried to run a smaller grocery store.

If you hate waiting in long lines at Whole Foods when you just need a loaf of bread or a quart of milk, the company may have a solution.

Amazon-owned Whole Foods is opening five small supermarkets in New York City aimed at customers who don’t need as much to choose from — but do want a quicker shopping experience.

Called “Whole Foods Market Daily Shop,” they’ll take up between 7,000 and 14,000 square feet, Bloomberg reported on Monday. That means they’ll be about one-quarter of the size of a typical Whole Foods store.

According to Bloomberg, they’ll also contain fewer products than normal stores, focusing on what shoppers typically need on a quick grocery run such as prepared meals and fresh produce. There will also be products from Whole Foods 365, the grocer’s store brand. Customers can use Amazon One, the company’s palm payment method, in addition to self-checkout and human-powered check stands.

“The introduction of home delivery has changed customers’ mentality. People want things fast,” Christina Minardi, executive vice president of growth and development at Whole Foods Market and Amazon, told Bloomberg.

A rendering of the produce section at a planned Whole Foods Market Daily Shop store features a woman reaching for vegetables in a cooler with a selection of berries and fresh fruit behind her.

A rendering of the produce section at a Whole Foods Market Daily Shop store.
Amazon/Whole Foods

The goal is to bring the stores to “dense, metropolitan areas” and make it easier for shoppers to find “grab-and-go meals and snacks, weekly essentials, and a quick, easy destination to pick up ingredients to complete a meal,” Whole Foods said in a press release. The company will explore opening Daily Shop stores in other US cities, Bloomberg reported.

The new stores represent Amazon’s latest attempt to expand its presence in the grocery business. CEO Andy Jassy said in his 2023 letter to shareholders that Amazon needs “a broader physical store footprint given that most of the grocery shopping still happens in physical venues.” Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017.

But Daily Shop is hardly Amazon’s first time operating supermarkets that are smaller than the US norm. Since 2020, the company has opened Amazon Fresh stores, which are roughly the same size as the planned Daily Shop locations and frequently stock Whole Foods’s own-brand products.

Unlike Whole Foods, though, they tend to focus on more affordable groceries. Last year, Amazon reportedly started testing a revamped version of Amazon Fresh after pausing new store openings.

Whole Foods also ran small-format stores of its own between 2016 and 2019. Called “Whole Foods 365,” the format was smaller than most Whole Foods locations. It also aimed to be more affordable than mainline Whole Foods stores by focusing on Whole Foods’ own-brand products.

Whole Foods got rid of 365 stores two years after it was acquired by Amazon, which cut prices at all Whole Foods stores to attract a broader customer base.

Whole Foods and Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s questions about why Amazon decided to open Daily Shop stores instead of Amazon Fresh locations.

Do you work for Whole Foods or Amazon’s grocery business? Reach out to this reporter at [email protected]

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