Whole Foods Opens First Online-Only Grocery Store

The chain’s new Brooklyn location will not be open to the public.

Organic grocery chain Whole Foods opened a brand new location in Brooklyn, New York today. However, this location will be a little different from the others; the store, located in the Industry City area, will only stock items for online grocery orders. Such stores are called “dark stores.” In partnership with Amazon, Prime members can get free delivery from Whole Foods stores in more than 2,000 cities and towns across the United States.

The timing for this new storefront is one many are calling perfect. Amazon reported back in July that its online grocery sales tripled for the second quarter. This is during a period in which many consumers were forced to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Because they could not go out or were afraid to venture out in public, many began looking for delivery options to obtain their groceries safely.

“Whole Foods Market is proud to introduce our first ever, permanent online-only store in Brooklyn, which will allow us to better serve the community and meet the growing demand for grocery delivery,” a Whole Foods spokesperson said. “We have hired hundreds of Whole Foods Market Team Members and other applicants throughout the NYC area, who will be dedicated to preparing orders for grocery delivery, enabling us to reach more customers than ever before.”

Credit: Whole Foods

Pictures released by Whole Foods showed what the new store looks like and how it operates. Much like a typical grocery store, the Brooklyn location does have shopping carts and shelves stocked with food items, but people are not able to roam freely up and down the aisles.

Instead, customers place their orders online, and the store fulfills orders by sending them out via delivery. Amazon Prime members in certain zip codes qualify for free delivery. While other Whole Food stores have temporarily converted to “dark stores,” this Brooklyn location will remain online-only.

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