Monday, June 06, 2016

First Look: Silver Lake's New 365 by Whole Foods Market

365

Trader Joe's, don't worry just yet. "365," the new supermarket concept from Whole Foods Market, recently opened in Silver Lake to much fanfare -- but also much confusion.  We finally visited for the first time, on Sunday, and although the experience was pleasant, I'm left wondering what the strategy is.

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Again, that's not to say it's not a pleasant shopping experience. But as Devon Maloney wrote in the Los Angeles Times, it's hard not to keep thinking about how 365 "is the national grocery chain’s attempt to reach a younger, less financially sound generation by selling them food that’s slightly less expensive than what they might find at the original Whole Foods. With 365, Whole Foods hopes to capitalize on the student-loan-saddled bourgeoisie (you know, the people who can swing some organic produce but aren’t champing at the bit for a $6 asparagus water) while still keeping the rabble clear of its highest-quality aisles."

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Adds Maloney: "But 365 is not just about appealing to millennials through our wallets — it’s about capturing our hearts, too, by revolutionizing the food-buying experience...somehow? Anyway, this flashy gimmick certainly isn’t here to profit from an already-gentrified, upwardly mobile yuppie community and help drive up rent prices for low-income immigrant families who have been here for decades!"

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Can't I just pick it up? Do I really need to order it on this iPad too?

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Long lines, during these early days of 365's existence.

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OK, nice wine offerings.

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And a mini version of Whole Foods' Allegro coffee.

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Ha, jumble "Lake" and it becomes "Kale," get it?

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Whoa. I've been disappointed with Trader Joe's for discontinuing my beloved Jalapeno cheese puffs. Good to see Barbara's (which I assume also produced TJ's version) still makes them. OK. 365, you're beginning to win me over, much like Maloney. Maria felt a bit like we were cheating on Trader Joe's; I figure it can't hurt to keep an open grocery store relationship.

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