CHICAGO (July 18, 2007). Whole Foods Market® (Nasdaq: WFMI), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket and the nation's first certified organic grocer, opens its new 55,000-square-foot South Loop store on Wednesday, August 8. The much-anticipated store, located at Canal Street and Roosevelt Road., is the anchor grocery store of the brand-new Southgate Market. Upon opening, the South Loop location is looking forward to becoming the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified grocery store in Chicago under the LEED® for Commercial Interiors program.
Whole Foods Market® has demonstrated a strong commitment to the environment since the company's inception. In 2006, it was granted the EPA Power Partner of the Year award for its purchase of enough wind power to offset 100% of its electricity use throughout the country, one of the largest purchases in history. The LEED Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
“We couldn't be more thrilled to join this wonderful community as the first LEED Certified grocery store in Chicago,” says Laura Henke, Whole Foods Market South Loop store team leader. “From our wonderful array of natural and organic foods and commitment to the environment to our cooking and lifestyle classes, we've got something for everyone in the neighborhood.”
Whether you're seeking a wide variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, specialty gourmet items, high-quality meats and poultry, or everyday pantry staples at great prices, you can find what you're looking for at Whole Foods Market. The Company's motto – Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet – emphasizes that the vision reaches far beyond just being a food retailer. Success in fulfilling this vision is measured by customer satisfaction, Team Member excellence and happiness, return on investment, improvement in the state of the environment and community support.
The store is one of four stores opening in the Chicago area in 2007. Other new stores include the recently opened Cicero and Peterson (Sauganash) and Halsted and Waveland (South Loop) locations. The Northbrook store at Waukegan and Willow Roads is slated to open August 29. These and other upcoming openings reflect the Company's aggressive growth plan for the next few years.
“More and more consumers are embracing a healthier lifestyle and seeking better options to fulfill their ever-changing needs,” states Patrick Bradley, Midwest Regional president. “There is a greater awareness of food – where it comes from, how it is grown, produced and raised, and whether it's organic and sustainable. Because of this, more shoppers are turning to natural and organic foods than ever before. Whole Foods Market is addressing these needs to help make natural and organic foods more accessible to people by broadening our product offerings and building more stores, such as our new South Loop location.”
On the Shelves and In the Aisles
The new Whole Foods Market South Loop store offers a vast array of tempting foods and delights, sure to please even the most discerning palate. Featuring restaurant-quality prepared foods and the convenience of one-stop grocery shopping, the store features a number of unique and enticing elements chosen specifically with the South Loop community in mind. Extensive market research identified that the community is typically on the move, prefer to get their shopping done efficiently and quickly and eats a high volume of prepared foods weekly, versus homemade items. Evidence of this research is apparent throughout the store by not only the food offerings, but also the more than 200 Whole Foods Market parking-specific spaces and the more than 100 feet of bike racks.
“Our goal is to make shopping at our store as convenient and as fun as possible,” says Henke. “This store was built with the Chicago urbanite in mind, as evidenced through the wide variety of grab-and-go, prepared items; the convenient location free parking and the exciting culinary and lifestyle classes.”
About our Team Members
Whole Foods Market, which created nearly 200 jobs in the South Loop community, has been named by Fortune magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America for ten consecutive years – every year since the list's inception.
“Whole Foods Market celebrates diversity and embraces all lifestyles through our widely unique workforce. We're proud that our Team Members are truly passionate about sharing the joys of great-tasting food and natural lifestyle choices with others,” Henke says.
Commitment to the Community
Whole Foods Market has a rich history of establishing a deep commitment to each of the communities it serves. “We're looking forward to putting down roots and becoming an integral part of the South Loop community,” Henke comments.
As part of that commitment, Whole Foods Market holds quarterly Community Support Days when five percent of a day's net sales are donated to a local non-profit organization. The store will also work with local area groups on various partnerships. In fact, the South Loop store has hired a marketing specialist, Joyce Chacko, committed to working with community leaders and partners. Please visit the store's web site at www.wholefoods.com/stores/southloop for more information on the store's community outreach.