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A Whole Foods for the less affluent

Retailer's new Detroit store could be brilliant, or a branding blunder

What to do when you’re an upscale food retailer looking to expand into places that aren’t exactly boomtowns. If you’re Whole Foods, downscale!

That’s exactly what the high-end grocery chain is doing this month with a pilot store in not-so-chic Detroit.

The store has fewer staff, lower prices and more frozen and prewrapped foods. It's aimed at shoppers looking for everyday, affordable grocery items that aren't typically found in a Whole Foods.

Several more budget Whole Foods are in the works, in New Orleans and the South Side of Chicago.

But can this format succeed? Branding experts have their doubts, according to an article published in AdWeek magazine.

Then again, trendy grocers with affordable prices have been proven to work. Two chains that do it especially well: Trader Joe’s and Wegmans.

And Whole Foods is likely paying close attention to them. Read the full story here.

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