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Bloomberg: Whole Foods eyeing ways to curb healthcare costs

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

NEW YORK — Is Whole Foods looking to get into the health clinic business? Perhaps.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods, said a major focus for the company is reducing the healthcare costs for its own employees, and he has a few ideas on just how to do it.

One idea is a Whole Foods medical clinic, he told Bloomberg. Inspired by Rosen Care, an employer health care program run by Rosen Hotels and Resorts in Orlando, Fla., Mackey is toying with the idea of rolling out a Whole Foods clinic for employees — and perhaps customers.

Another idea that Mackey shared with Bloomberg is setting up a weight-loss and nutrition camp for employees and customers. The idea is based on its Total Health Immersion program, a weeklong clinic that Whole Foods employees can attend to undergo medically supervised testing, group discussions with nutritionists and cooking classes. According to Bloomberg, Mackey would like to offer the program as a weekend getaway to customers and is even negotiating on a property in Austin, Texas. 
 

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Uniprix Group names president and CEO

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTREAL, Quebec — Uniprix Group has announced that Philippe Duval has been named president and CEO, succeeding François Castonguay, who stepped down last August after 20 years as head of the company. Duval will take office on Feb. 2.

Duval previously served as GM of the Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary and as president and CEO of the SAQ until 2013.
 

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Target to open additional smaller format stores in 2015

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is opening 15 stores this year, including additional TargetExpress and CityTarget smaller format locations as it looks to further reach guests in urban centers.

“Our store growth looks different today than it did five years ago, driven by guests’ expectations for ease and personalization in their shopping experience. Smaller formats like TargetExpress and CityTarget offer customized assortments and services to meet the needs of guests who are increasingly moving into urban centers. In our general merchandise stores, we’re embracing a test and learn philosophy, innovating with layouts and experiences and bringing digital and bricks and mortar together like never before,” stated Tina Tyler, EVP and chief stores officer, Target.

Target will open 15 stores in 2015, including eight TargetExpress locations, one CityTarget and six general merchandise stores. Target stated that its strategic store growth is focused on reaching guests in urban centers with new formats like TargetExpress and CityTarget, while also offering new experiences, merchandising layouts and innovations in its general merchandise stores.
 
TargetExpress

In addition to previously announced openings in San Francisco, San Diego and St. Paul, Minn., Target plans to bring two TargetExpress stores to the greater Washington, D.C. area and one to Chicago. The retailer’s newest and smallest format at approximately 20,000 sq. ft., TargetExpress provides a quick-trip shopping experience that is distinctly Target. The varying size and locations of these stores will enable Target to create a unique store experience and curated merchandise assortment localized for each community. Target will continue to test TargetExpress stores to learn more about operating small format locations and further enhance and customize the guest experience. Target currently operates one TargetExpress location in Minneapolis, which opened in July 2014 and has already made adjustments based on guest feedback and operational insights. For example, the assortment was expanded to include baking supplies, belts, sunglasses, jewelry and select apparel items, including C9 items. Beyond 2015, Target is exploring a number of opportunities to bring TargetExpress to select major markets across the country, including the greater Philadelphia area, Los Angeles, the greater Washington, D.C., area, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area.

CityTarget

In 2015, Target will open its first East Coast CityTarget store in Boston near the Fenway ballpark, followed by a location in Brooklyn, N.Y., that will open in 2016 in the City Point development. CityTarget debuted in 2012 to bring the Target experience to urban guests, who have an affinity for great design and great value, but previously had to travel outside the city to one of Target’s suburban store locations. CityTarget offers an edited assortment of its best-selling merchandise with urban dwellers in mind. Smaller pack sizes and a curated assortment mean these guests can easily carry home a smaller package of paper towels or shop for an apartment-scale bistro set, rather than a larger, six-piece patio set designed for suburban dwellers. CityTarget stores are typically smaller than traditional Target stores, ranging in size from 80,000 sq. ft. to 160,000 squ. ft., and are some of its highest traffic locations in the company. There are currently eight CityTarget stores, including three in Los Angeles, two in San Francisco, one in Seattle, one in Portland and one in Chicago.

General merchandise

Target continues to innovate with its general merchandise stores, testing new layouts and merchandise assortments to provide guests with a shopping experience that brings convenient, easy, personalized options. For example, the Fort Worth, Texas store will feature Target’s home product assortment in a lifestyle setting so guests can imagine how products might look in their own homes. In addition, the new Oahu-Kailua, Hawaii store will offer merchandise from approximately thirty local vendors to provide relevant merchandise for guests.

Community programs and partnerships

With each new store that Target builds, the company strives to bring its legacy of giving to the local community through the programs and partnerships it supports. In 2015, Target will continue to sponsor numerous programs as part of its commitment to building strong communities including: Take Charge of Education; food donations; disaster response and relief; United Way Workplace Giving; National and Regional Days of Service; team member volunteerism; walks with national partners, including St. Jude and American Cancer Society; and local giving by individual stores through GiftCard grants and a Community Engagement Fund.

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