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Whole Foods is scheduled to officially open its first “365 by Whole Foods” store in the midwest tomorrow with a 30,000 square foot unit in Akron, Ohio.

The “365” format was launched by Whole Foods before the acquisition of the company by Amazon. The Akron store is the sixth of the breed to be opened; the others are in California, Oregon, Washington, andTexas. Additional stores are scheduled to be opened in states that include Florida, Indiana, Virginia, New Jersey and New York.

“365” was originally conceived as a response to elements in traditional Whole Foods stores that were seen as an impediment to growth. The stores are positioned as being more attractive to millennials, with a better use of technology, and featuring lower prices that run counter to the company’s “whole paycheck” image.
KC's View:
Amazon hasn’t said anything about the future of the 365 stores, though one imagines that they’ll be less relevant if Amazon is able to make the broader Whole Foods fleet less expensive and more accessible to a greater number of people. I tend to think that it makes sense to use the 365 format as a laboratory where they can test lots of different approaches and then, if successful, roll them out to the broader chain.