The Amazon-owned natural and organics food retailer announced the upcoming store openings in a recent release, Chain Store Age reported. Beyond its 40 new stores in the pipeline, Whole Foods noted it debuted two new concepts in 2020: an online-only location in Brooklyn, New York, and Ideal Market in Denver.
The online-only location reflects the surge in online grocery shopping that occurred during 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whole Foods opened the delivery-only store in Brooklyn, New York, in September, 2020, though planning for the store began more than a year before.
The company also reflected on its recent growth in the release, boasting a new reach of 1.4 million additional people as a result of its 2020 store openings. Whole Foods launched 950 new local brands, 10,000 local items and 650 new exclusive brands in 2020, and it has more launches planned for 2021.
In the same release, Whole Foods announced restructuring of its merchandising teams by combining the global and regional teams into one. The single team will support purchasing across the entire company, while dedicated operations teams in the regions will focus on merchandising execution and in-store operations, including e-commerce and store support. Whole Foods will seek software engineering and technical technical product and program manager roles in a transition of its technical organization.
“This shift will allow us to build new internal capabilities, further differentiate our customer offerings, and rapidly develop tools for our business and customers at the speed of retail,” the company said in its announcement.
The grocery store chain recently added 10,000 employees, bringing its total to 105,000 employees. The retailer also has 10,000 open positions nationwide.
See the full story at Chain Store Age.