Austin’s first 365 by Whole Foods celebrated its grand opening on April 26. The store looks much like other 365 by Whole Foods locations, but the focus has shifted to technology to provide a better shopping experience.
The taqueria features mobile kiosks where customers can place their orders without employees and continue shopping until their order is ready. A partnership with California-based Delectable allows customers to scan bottles of wine with their phone and get access to customer reviews. If customers open the 365 by Whole Foods app while in the store, it will suggest recipes that pair well with the wine and produce a shopping list.
Two days before the grand opening participants could take a virtual reality tour by putting an HTC Vive on their heads and walking around a video game version of the store.
The 365 by Whole Foods banner also introduces customers to Whole Foods’ first rewards program. Participants receive 10 percent off items displayed on endcaps as well as other discounts.
In a February earnings call, CEO John Mackey noted that the new store would “have all these new bells and whistles that we’ve learned from our first three stores.” Other 365 stores operate in the suburbs of Seattle, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore.