Date Night at Whole Foods?

Published on: 2015-02-05

Retail is going experiential, and at least one blogger thinks it might change the way we socialize (a little). Heather Strang, a Retail Design Diva notes:

[T]typically, date night involves one of my favorite things in the entire world--eating. So, is it wrong that I want to spend date night at Whole Foods?

Confused? Then, perhaps you haven't sampled the organic retailer's "groceraunt."

That's right, I said groceraunt. It's a hybrid between a grocery store and a restaurant, and a completely new word--one I'm pretty sure even Webster's hasn't gotten a hold of yet. I can't imagine that Whole Foods could be any more fabulous than it already is, unless, of course, they dropped their prices significantly and stopped importing from China, but I digress. On the up side, their stores have great atmospheres, are well-lit, environmentally conscious and feature a selection of delicious and healthy foods. They're bakery rocks (I can actually get wheat-free pastries!) and the deli is delish. But now, a mean, groceraunt? I'm intrigued...

Allegedly, the new groceraunt features wide-screen televisions, a chef performing in-store cooking lessons, a wine-tasting bar and a brick-oven pizza counter. Yum!

Our take:

We'll admit, it's hard not to give Whole Foods an "A" for effort here.  After all, the high-end grocer is already well-known for its lavish sampling platters and varied selection of hard-to-find food items. And while we foresee a bevy of logistical and marketing challenges to overcome, none of these should be unfamiliar territory for the huge company (who's already used to shipping lots of fresh product, cooking -- albeit in a limited fashion -- in store, and getting people excited about their brand).  While it's unclear what the purpose of the widescreen televisions is, presumably it won't be for traditional digital signage.  We suspect that it will combine high production-value entertainment content (perhaps in partnership with one of the big networks -- or maybe even live TV) with merchandising and edutainment type clips that are better geared towards the store's traditionally high-income audience.

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