Whole Foods Market heading to Victoria

Natural and organic foods retailer plans at least two more openings this year

Whole Foods plans to open a 40,000-sq.-ft. store in Victoria, the company’s first on Vancouver Island.

Slated to open in the fall of next year, the store will be situated in the B.C. capital’s Uptown shopping mall and feature a hot-and-cold salad bar, sushi station and deli selling fresh sandwiches and salads.

It’s one of several new stores that U.S.-based Whole Foods is scheduled to add in Canada, including two set to open this year: one in North Burnaby, B.C., and the other in Toronto’s Leaside neighbourhood.

Whole Foods, which arrived in Canada in 2002, now has 10 stores in this country. Almost all are located in the Toronto and Vancouver metros. Whole Foods has no stores yet outside of Ontario and B.C.

Two years ago, the natural and organic foods retailer announced plans to open at least 40 stores in Canada but did not provide a timeframe.

Whole Foods recently announced plans to open a new value-oriented format under the name “365 by Whole Foods Market” that would be 25,000 square feet in size, 15,000 square feet smaller than a standard Whole Foods, and cater to millennials.

There's no word on whether the format would be introduced to Canada.

In a presentation to analysts last month, co-CEO Walter Robb noted that new Whole Foods stores averaged same-store sales increases of 16% two years after opening.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds