Minneapolis (February 8, 2012) – Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFM), the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket, confirmed today that a new location is planned in the Twin Cities area. The 38,000 square foot store, located in downtown Minneapolis, comes on the heels of the company’s third store opening in Minnetonka in October 2011 and its fourth store slated to open in Edina April 18, 2012.
“We look forward to adding to our existing locations in the Twin Cities,” comments Michael Bashaw, Midwest regional president. “The Twin Cities is definitely an area of growth for us and we’re extremely excited to expand our offering of natural and organic products to an even greater customer base,” says Bashaw.
The store will reflect the company’s mission of supporting sustainable agriculture and the environment by featuring natural and organic foods, which are free of artificial ingredients and hydrogenated fats. With a focus on fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, specialty items, high-quality meats and poultry, everyday pantry staples and sustainable seafood, the store will appeal to a variety of customers ranging from the health conscious to serious food enthusiasts.
“This new store will not only reflect the qualities and attributes of our existing stores, it will help us continue our commitment to our local communities,” continues Bashaw. “From an increased store size, to a varying product mix and our unparalleled community support initiatives, we can’t wait to share the Whole Foods Market experience with even more Minnesotans.”
About the Downtown Location
The downtown location, set to open in 2013, will be located at the corner of Hennepin and Washington Avenues. It will be the ground-level anchor of 222 Hennepin, a signature retail and residential hub destined to become a defining landmark in the thriving downtown area. The store will also contain a separate liquor store, selling a wide variety of specialty beers and wines.
“Whole Foods Market is a natural fit for 222 Hennepin,” says Mark Schoening, Senior Vice President for Developer and Builder Ryan Companies. “We cannot wait to share Whole Foods Market’s wonderful natural and organic products with the downtown community.”
Whole Foods Market, which estimates it will add approximately 150 additional jobs in the Twin Cities, has been named by Fortune magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in the U.S. for 15 consecutive years – every year since the List’s inception. In addition, the Company boasts an 80% fulltime employment rate nationwide, which is nearly double the rate of its competitors. This commitment to the company translates to increased passion and product knowledge by its Team Members.
“Our excellent customer service is what sets us apart from our competitors,” Bashaw says. “We’re proud that our Team Members are truly passionate about sharing the joys of great-tasting natural and organic food with our local communities.”
Whole Foods Market has a history of establishing a commitment to each of the communities it serves. Community support is considered a “Core Value” to the Company, and is something that is supported during everyday business. Quarterly Community Support Days, where 5 percent of one-day’s sales are donated to a local nonprofit organization, are one of the most successful of the Company’s programs. Other community support programs include One Dime at a Time, where customers can opt to have their 10¢ bag refund donated to a nonprofit organization, as well as daily donations to local food banks.
“These stores will allow us to deepen our connections within the community,” Bashaw comments. “We look forward to building strong relationships with our neighborhood partners in our new communities.”