14th New York Whole Foods opens in Hudson Yards
This multi-level store offers a wide selection of products from approximately 200 local suppliers, many of which are new to Whole Foods. The place is for the people in a hurry who go to work and who just have time to buy a take-out, or for the local clientele who live in the neighborhood and come to shop regularly.
This store is very interesting as it is one of the first to open taking into account the new constraints related to Covid 19 and social distancing.
The Whole Foods Market concept
The Hudson Yards is one of the newest neighborhoods in Manhattan that has been operating for two years. In this housing and office complex, the huge Hudson Yards mall is home to dozens of stores and now a Whole Foods. The 14th store on Manhattan occupies over 5,600 square meters and houses a maze of organic and natural food options.
This Whole Foods is located at the base of a renovated 15-storey building that is part of the Manhattan West Complex.
Several elements make this place unique compared to other Whole Foods of the city. First, there are products from over 200 local suppliers, making it a unique location for unique finds.
This site has also engaged cheese professionals, certified by the American Cheese Society. They are available to offer advice and suggestions for specific requests and special occasions. In this neighborhood inhabited by wealthy professionals, it is interesting to see that Whole Foods seeks to offer more than products to its customers.
In the store, the space usually dedicated to self service hosts specialized brands such as Jajaja (vegan Mexican cuisine), Matchaful (matcha lattes), Sunscoop (herbal ice cream) and Café Grumpy for coffee, espresso and cappuccinos.
Would you like to have lunch on site? Access the exterior patio on the second level overlooking 33rd Street with a view of the High Line and the store entrance at Hudson Yards. View guaranteed!
Free delivery within 2 hours is also available to Amazon Prime members (Amazon is the parent company of Whole Foods). Premium members also benefit from an additional 10% discount on items already at a reduced price.
And of course, Amazon customers can pick up their online orders from the lockers at the store entrance. Convenient for customers who work in the neighborhood.
Why visit the store?
One of the first post-lockout openings
Although the store’s project dates back more than a year, we cannot help but think that the Covid crisis has had an impact on the store’s design and sales process.
Very wide aisles to allow to easily keep a social distance, staff at the entrance to check the wearing of the mask, water alcoholic gel dispensersin and wipes to clean your trolley or cart are the basic offers of the store.
But it is also one of the only Whole Foods in New York to offer crates in Self Checkout. Queues are often a problem at Whole Foods but this store has decided to offer 3 different payment spaces in store to avoid waiting time and proximity between customers. The first in Self Service in the general part of the store, the second is identical to the old system with queues of colors and the third, a fast checkout at the entrance for quick purchases.
The ground floor is dedicated to retrieving orders placed online (for Whole Foods customers or deliverers), as well as for quick purchases of hot or cold drinks and for which customers just want to retrieve their products and go out.
On the contrary, you have to go upstairs to buy products to consume on site. This double-decker system avoids mixing customers in a hurry with those who want to take their time but also avoids having too many people on a single floor and respecting a social distance in store.
Finally, the store communicates a lot about the traceability of its products and the respect of its supply rules.
The Amazon touch in store
Passing through the store’s various shelves, you can’t help but think of Amazon. Some spaces look strangely like the style of the Amazon site with product categories such as on the site: major beauty trends, local novelties, order preparation in store, as in an Amazon center (or almost), and of course, the ability to retrieve orders placed on Amazon as mentioned earlier.
In each department, we discover the names of local producers who work with Whole Foods to offer their products. These 200 local suppliers are present in this store and their well-developed products.
The majority of these local suppliers are part of the “Local producer Loan Program”, a system set up by Whole Foods to provide loans to its partners and help them grow their businesses.
The money is used to develop the products and offer, so Whole Foods guarantees the presence of products that respect its ecological rules in store.
Innovation on the shelves
While the store highlights local productions, it also highlights local innovators.
Thus, if Whole Foods already offers products from the urban farm located on the roof of its store in Brooklyn, in this store, the products grow directly in the sales area thanks to the partnership with Farm One!
In one of the store’s busiest sales areas and close to the caisses, Farm One offers a “mini-farm” of basil. This farm has a cascading irrigation system and can grow 150 plants at a time, providing Whole Foods’ restoration space with a constant supply of basil.
Customers can watch the aromas grow and eat them live, or they can buy the products in jars. The aim is also to make consumers aware of the need to have urban production even if still limited to fresh herbs.
Because you always have to discover new beers
A wide selection of over 400 beers, including 150 craft beers from local producers such as Three’s Brewing, are available in stores. The department also houses the Brewery Fresh Bar, which serves limited-edition beers from local craft breweries, wine, kombucha and cider, all in cans.