9 surprises about the new, cheaper Whole Foods store

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9 surprises about the new, cheaper Whole Foods store
Image Credit: 365 by Whole Foods Market
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Customers love Whole Foods for its healthy and organic products, but there’s something that drives many people away: the high prices!

So Whole Foods is now trying to shed the “whole paycheck” label with a new, spin-off store.

365 by Whole Foods Market, which is named after the chain’s 365 house brand, just opened its first store in Los Angeles — and it’s nothing like the traditional Whole Foods stores. 

Read more: 15 ways to cut your grocery spending in half

What to expect at the new 365 by Whole Foods Market store

Warehouse-style feel

Even before you step foot inside the new 365 store, you’ll notice a difference. The sign outside has the numbers 365 in big print, but the words “by Whole Foods Market” are much smaller.

Inside, the store looks like a warehouse with exposed air conditioning ducts and wooden beams.

Smaller size

365 is also a lot smaller. According to the Food Marketing Institute, the average supermarket is 46,000 square feet, which is in line with Whole Foods. However, the 365 store is only about 28,000 square feet, according to the company.

Digital price tags

This is pretty cool. The new 365 store doesn’t print labels; they display prices digitally using tablets. You can also scan bar codes on beer or wine to learn more about what you’re purchasing.

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Scan wine or beer bottle bar codes for info on tasting notes and ingredients. I can see the crowds now debating grape climates on $10 bottles of Chianti. #goodthings365 #365wfm #hipsters

A post shared by Valli Herman (@veryvalli) on

Private-label brand

As we mentioned, 365 gets its name from the Whole Foods private-label brand, which will be featured prominently throughout the store on shelves that are noticeably shorter.

But the company says you’ll also be able to find some of the national brands you love.

Read more: 10 surprises you probably don’t know about Aldi

Lower prices

NBC News put the prices to the test around Los Angeles and found 365 costs equal to or less than Trader Joe’s or Kroger, a regional grocery chain. 

The Los Angeles Times took a closer look at the prices of the following items:

Peanut butter

  • Pavilions: $2.79
  • Ralphs: $2.49
  • 365: $2.49
  • Trader Joe’s: $2.49
  • Whole Foods: $2.49
  • Target: $2.02
  • Aldi: $1.39

Gallon of milk

  • Whole Foods: $3.49
  • Target: $3.09
  • Trader Joe’s: $2.99
  • Pavilions: $2.89
  • Ralphs: $2.59
  • 365: $2.49
  • Aldi: $2.45

Dozen eggs

  • Whole Foods: $3.79
  • Pavilions: $3.69
  • 365: $2.99
  • Ralphs: $2.99
  • Trader Joe’s: $2.99
  • Aldi: $1.99
  • Target: $1.49

Loaf of bread

  • Trader Joe’s: $2.99
  • Whole Foods: $2.99
  • 365: $1.99
  • Pavilions: $1.49
  • Target: $0.99
  • Ralphs: $0.87
  • Aldi: $0.85

Grab-and-go

Even though the stores are smaller, they had to keep the popular hot and cold bars that are a mainstay in the regular Whole Foods stores! And if you’re in the mood for a hot dog, they recommend the vegan “Carrot Dog.”

Craft brew bar

Looking for a new happy hour spot? The 365 store is reaching out to millennials with a craft brew bar featuring beers from around the Los Angeles area.

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Vibes: BREWS ON TOP OF BREWS ON TOP OF BREWS. #goodthings365 #contest #coldbrew #allegrocoffee #pabstblueribbon #dukedom #yelpduke #openingdayduke

A post shared by Jeremy Russell (@jeremyrussell.la) on

Fewer employees

According to the Los Angeles Times, the 365 stores will have about 100 workers compared to the 250 to 500 workers at a regular Whole Foods. What’s that mean for shoppers? For starters, there’s no deli counter or butcher at 365.

Read more: 10 money-saving secrets about Costco

Fresh rewards program

My 365 Rewards is a 100% digital loyalty program, offering customers personalized offers and product recommendations. 

Here are some of the perks:  

  • 10 deals for an instant 10% off
  • Digital punch cards to earn freebies
  • Surprise offers on things you already like and buy

The 365 store in Los Angeles is just the beginning. New stores are coming soon to Oregon, Washington, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Illinois. You can see a map of the new locations on 365’s website.

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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