Whole Foods opening smaller convenience store-sized locations in NYC, first will open in Manhattan

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Whole Foods to open smaller-sized store locations in NYC
Lauren Glassberg has more on community reaction.

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Whole Foods is going small. The grocery chain, which is owned by Amazon, announced it's opening convenience store-sized locations in New York City.

They will be called Whole Foods Market Daily Shop and will be roughly a quarter of the size of a regular Whole Foods Market.

The shops will focus on takeout meals and prepared foods, seasonal produce, and alcohol, among other things.

The first is set to open in the fall on Third Avenue on the Upper East Side with more to follow.

It will be the first in Manhattan to offer Juice & Java, a venue for coffee, tea, fresh pressed juices, smoothies, sandwiches, soups and various desserts.

"At our new store formats, we're tailoring every square foot to the unique, fast-paced needs of urban lifestyles. We're excited to introduce a new way for our customers to quickly pick up their Whole Foods Market favorites - from grab-and-go meals to that last-minute dinner ingredient - making the early morning or after work grocery trips more efficient and enjoyable," said Christina Minardi, Executive Vice President Growth & Development, Whole Foods Market & Amazon.

While the concept is appealing to many, some New Yorkers say more Whole Foods markets is exactly what the city doesn't need.

"In general, I like New York to stay small and local and have bodegas be the place people get their corner stop shop stuff, so less of Whole Foods would be great," said New York City resident Alyssa Younger.

The manager of a local bodega told Eyewitness News that he thinks neighbors will continue to depend on his shop because they know it so well.

And that's what the head of the United Bodegas of America believes as well.

"Bodegas are more than just a place where you buy soda and beer and eggs and cigarettes, we're a place where people go in and they speak to one another, they communicate...it's a community," said Fernando Mateo.

Mateo said he also doubts Whole Foods will open the smaller stores in outer boroughs.

Whole Foods has 17 full-size locations across New York City -- and 14 are in Manhattan.

Following the New York City launch, there are plans to bring the format to other cities across the country.

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