So Whole Foods is already known for being a pretty extreme supermarket option. I mean, where else could you get asparagus-infused water, organic marshmallows, or vegan smoked bacon?
In recent years, Whole Foods has upgraded their standard supermarket with in-store wine bars, cafes, and gelato shops, but according to Whole Foods spokeswoman Emily Wright, they're about to get a whole lot funkier.
It has already been reported that the company will be opening a chain of Whole Foods 365 stores, targeting the 'college student demographic' with lower prices and a more accessible shopping experience. However, they'll also be adding 'friends' - their term for independent businesses with 'unique character' permitted to rent space inside.
"Friends of 365 may be any type of business - from food and drinks to fashion, body care products, services, and more. (Record shop? Tattoo parlor? Maybe!)"
Yes, that's right. In a world where a luxury supermarket is any grocery store with a built-in Panda Express, Whole Foods is stepping up the game with their 365 locations by opening up vendor space to an endless variety of businesses.
However, both consumers and industry professionals are already coming forward with doubts over Whole Foods' new direction. For example, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Burt Flickinger III, managing director of consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, said he didn't really see a successful correlation between people who eat organic produce and those in the market for some new ink:
"Whole Foods stands for health and wellness. Inking typically does not epitomize health and wellness."
But I want to know - if record stores and tattoo shops were actually opened inside supermarkets, would any of you actually go?
Would being able to buy vinyl records at Whole Foods make you want to go there more? Would you consider a Whole Foods tattoo parlor if you were in the market for getting some new ink? What kind of businesses do YOU think Whole Foods should rent their space to?
Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow my WTF Street Journal collection.