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Recommended: Whole Foods Drops Small-Format 365 Store Name

Whole Foods 365 stores will soon become a thing of the past.

The grocery chain owned by Amazon plans to convert all of its existing 365 stores into regular Whole Foods stores by the end of this year, Yahoo Finance has learned. The move follows its decision to stop expanding the smaller format stores, revealed in an internal announcement in January.

There will be changes in store signages, product assortments, and back-end distributions, according to people familiar with the plan. The transformation will not be too disruptive of current operations. A Whole Foods spokesperson said all 12 Whole Foods Market 365 stores remain open in an emailed statement to Yahoo Finance.

At about 25,000 to 30,000 square feet, 365 stores are smaller than conventional Whole Foods supermarkets, which are around 40,000 square feet on average. Two 365 stores opened just three months ago in Atlanta. Given their size, the newly converted Whole Foods stores will be smaller in footprint and may lack features like a full-service meat counter. Both Whole Foods and 365 stores carry the popular private 365 Everyday Value brand.

“It’s logical just to convert these few stores into Whole Foods, keep locations that have already got the leases on them,” Phil Lempert, a grocery industry analyst at Supermarket Guru, told Yahoo Finance. “I think that it’s smart to just have a singular focus.”

story continues at finance.yahoo.com

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