How do you feel about grabbing your groceries while waiting for your tattoo appointment?
Whole Foods Market, the super healthy, friendly, and pricy food store, is launching a new food market chain called 365. The aim of 365 is to compete with smaller, affordable food stores in an effort to attract millennial shoppers. With that, they're lining the isles with more than kale chips and tofu.
According to Bloomberg Business, 365 may include "body-care product sellers, record shops, and tattoo parlors." Via "Friends of 365," folks were able to submit an application with a brief description of their product and shop concept. We took a look through the entries shared to the public; among the many sushi vendors and organic juicers, we didn't find any tattooers.
While a rep for Whole Foods did not confirm that tattoo parlors will be included in 365 locations, Inked was told "options for shoppers will range from food venues to lifestyle and services." Vendors who did make the cut to set up shop within 365 will be announced no later than February 28, 2016.
With plans to offer all the freshness its big sister is famous for, 365 will compete with small and large food markets alike, such as Walmart and Trader Joes. In a February 10 press release, the president of 365, Jeff Turnas, said, "We have assembled an amazing team of people who have been working tirelessly to create an innovative shopping experience that will appeal to new and existing Whole Foods Market customers."
We agree with Turnas—the idea to allow small businesses to set up shop within a big store is innovative—but it plays on the controversial habit of large corporations running mom-and-pop shops out of business. On one hand, it gives these shops an opportunity to sell to customers they otherwise would not be in contact with. On the other, the vendor is bound to Whole Foods Market's policies, essentially working for and reporting to them.
There is much to be said about tattoo parlors in a grocery store. Although 365 is targeting millennials, the food market will still be attractive to shoppers of all ages. We wouldn't want to see a tattoo studio become the store's petting zoo. Little irritates a tattooer more than being watched by strangers while working. Obviously, the studio must be operated by a credible, trusted artist that makes cleanliness a priority—luckily most tattooers do. Let's remember that tattoo shops are not Olive Gardens or Famous Footwears. They are not run in an assembly-line fashion—they are an artist's studio. We respect the idea, and to the artist(s) that consider(s) the opportunity, we look forward to seeing how you operate.
The first location for 365 by Whole Foods Market is expected to open in Los Angeles this May. The company expects to open 10 stores before October 2017.
What would Hotel Street's Sailor Jerry think of a tattoo shop within a grocery store?