For better or worse, here’s new proof that Whole Foods wasn’t kidding last May when it promised to try and make 365, its new spinoff grocery chain, into a “hip, cool” place for millennials: In-store tattoo parlors very well may be on their way.
Co-CEO Walter Robb sat down with Bloomberg and talked about a program they’re calling “Friends of 365.” If things go according to plan, Whole Foods will partner with third-party vendors, who’ll be invited to set up in stores. Tattoo parlors and record shops are the two best examples Bloomberg notes, but the Friends of 365 website cast a pretty wide net: “Whether you’re into fast-casual food service, breakthrough retail (body care products, clothing, shoes, housewares, pet, etc.) or cool street services (barber shop, knife sharpening, bike shop, fitness) — if you’ve got a thriving business ready to go all the way live, we want to hear from you.”
Vendors will naturally vary from store to store, but among those in the running right now are a bone-broth seller, a café exclusively for Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof coffee, and a Jelt stand. Jelts are “modern-retro” belts made from recycled yarn that grip pants with a gel lining. Here’s the official pitch for that:
Whole Foods sums things up by promising this fun idea will make 365 into “a super cool hang.” If this is “hip” in action, that “techno buzz” atmosphere the chain keeps threatening for the new stores is starting to sound downright worrisome.