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The first lower-priced Whole Foods is coming to Los Angeles in May

The first lower-priced Whole Foods is coming to Los Angeles in May
Whole Foods Market said its new lower-priced chain was opening its first store in Silver Lake in May. (David McNew / Getty Images)

Whole Foods for cheap?

Not exactly, but the high-end grocer is opening its first lower-priced store, 365 by Whole Foods Market, in Silver Lake on May 25.

The 365 concept, described as "quality meets value," is designed to cater to younger shoppers. The Austin, Texas, company said last year that the new chain will be geared toward 18-to-34-year-olds who want all-natural foods at more affordable prices.

The 365 name comes from Whole Foods' value brand, which is already found in the company's stores.

In Silver Lake, the grocery store will have a restaurant by the chef behind New York vegan eatery By Chloe. It will also have a coffee bar and a self-serve tea kiosk.

"We're looking to curate an experience that's totally customizable to that location," Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods Market, said in a statement.

The 365 stores will save costs by reducing the number of workers needed and also the variety of products on offer, compared with a traditional Whole Foods Market. The 365 stores, for example, will not have butchers slicing cuts of meat to order or cheese mongers handing out a variety of nibbles.

Whole Foods also tried to design a uniform look for the 365 stores that can be replicated in many cities, with efficiencies that will slash the time it takes for an employee to move from the stockroom to the shelves. And there is a focus on creating displays that are cheap but still look good.

The company plans to open three 365 stores this year and up to 10 in 2017.

The stores are an effort by Whole Foods to compete in an increasingly competitive grocery market.

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In the Southland, German discount chain Aldi recently opened the first of 45 Southland stores this year. Supermarkets such as Vons and Albertsons have also expanded their organic fare. And Trader Joe's, which has opened several new L.A. stores in recent years, is popular among millennials.

Last year, Whole Foods' stock took a beating after several quarters of sluggish sales. Shares closed at $30.60 on Thursday, down about 40% from a year earlier.

Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ByShanLi.

The Washington Post was used in compiling this report.

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