Holy guacamole. A new Whole Foods store just opened in trendy Brooklyn, N.Y., and it has a killer deal on the trendiest fresh produce item at the grocery store: Avocados are on sale right now for only $1 apiece.
The brand new store isn't a classic Whole Foods, but instead one of the company's offshoot Whole Foods 365 locations. Whole Foods launched the 365 concept in 2016 as a smaller, lower-cost alternative to its traditional stores—which are known for high quality, but also high prices. The 365 stores are heavily stocked, unsurprisingly, with Whole Foods' more affordable "365" house brand products, and they were introduced with the hope of appealing to less affluent shoppers, millennials in particular.
Whole Foods now operates seven of the 365-branded stores around the country, and plans are in the works to open roughly 10 more, in locations like Atlanta, Houston, and Lake Tahoe.
New York magazine's Grub Street blog reports that hundreds of shoppers lined up on Wednesday morning for the grand opening of a Whole Foods 365 in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. The first 100 customers received free gift cards (most worth $25), along with bragging rights for being among the earliest in town to scope out the deals.
Among them: avocados on sale at a clip of five for $5. Other special discounts at the Fort Greene store include Pink Lady apples for $1.50 per pound, two-for-$1 green kale, and organic red mangos priced at four for $5.
Last summer, in a move timed to coincide with Amazon's takeover of Whole Foods, many Whole Foods shoppers were thrilled when stores cut prices nationally on more than a dozen popular items. For the most part, though, it looks like the sale prices at the new 365 store are cheaper than the price cuts instituted at regular Whole Foods stores last summer.
Even though there were some compelling deals at the Brooklyn store, many shoppers were not impressed with the new store's pricing overall. “It’s a lot more expensive than I was expecting,” one shopper told Grub Street. “I thought they’d be competing with Trader Joe’s.”
The pricing strategy at the Brooklyn 365 store—cheap deals on a small percentage of items, and expensive prices for many others—seems in line with the Whole Foods' approach overall. One analysis of Whole Foods pricing showed that the vast majority of items did not receive price cuts (and some even became more expensive) in the weeks after Amazon became the owner.
What's more, older studies demonstrate that grocery prices at Trader Joe's, as well as discount supermarkets like Aldi, are consistently cheaper than Whole Foods. In one sample grocery run, a shopper browsed for a basket of 30 household staples at Whole Foods and a nearby Trader Joe's, and the total bill was 20% cheaper at Trader Joe's.