Detroit’s new store is located in the Midtown neighborhood, which is one of the most resurgent pockets of the city with people moving back in. It’s also where Wayne State University and the Detroit Institute of Arts are located.
Officials with Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market Inc. didn’t fully address the discrepancy Wednesday.
But the new store could be another way that Whole Foods is trying to stay competitive by appealing to a broader audience and shedding its “Whole Paycheck” image of being unaffordable. In particular, the company has expanded its selection of packaged store-brand products, many of which fall under the “365” label.
The store could have ability to make a dent in the problem if residents respond to having more options and the prices are right, said Mari Gallagher, who runs a research and consulting firm that has studied Chicago food deserts for years.
“It’ll be an interesting experiment to see how that store does. Over the long run it could be the kind of project that could not only improve health,” but also economic development in the area, she said.
Meanwhile, some residents of the Englewood are said they were eager for the new business.
Bettina Hall, 55, was wrapping up grocery shopping Wednesday at a nearby Aldi. The self-employed woman said she wouldn’t rely on Whole Foods for all her groceries but her husband would like it.
“He’s a vegetarian,” she said. “They carry a lot of things he likes to buy.”