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Friday, February 19, 2016

Whole Foods makes long-awaited splash in Gainesville market


Whole Foods makes long-awaited splash in Gainesville market
By Anthony Clark

Whole Foods is bringing one of its new smaller, lower-cost grocery stores to Gainesville.

The organic and natural foods supermarket chain announced in its quarterly earnings report Wednesday that Gainesville is one of five cities where it recently signed leases to open its 365 by Whole Foods Market stores, making Gainesville one of the first 13 cities to receive the 30,000-square-foot average sized store.

The first 365 is scheduled to open in May in Los Angeles, one year after Whole Foods announced the new format designed to appeal to younger shoppers.

The website 365bywfm.com says the new store will be at Butler Town Center.

A Butler Enterprises spokeswoman said she couldn't confirm new leases until tenants sign off on news releases.

Butler Town Center is planned for smaller shops around a walkable main street configuration in the eastern part of the plaza closest to Southwest 34th Street that will be demolished once Wal-Mart relocates to the Butler North expansion later this year. Lowe’s was the first store to move to Butler North from Butler East.

Whole Foods is the largest and best known natural and organic foods supermarket in the U.S. with 435 stores and 91,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom. Fortune magazine named Whole Foods to its 100 Best Companies to Work For list 18 years running.

In addition to Lowe’s and Wal-Mart, Butler Enterprises has announced that Butler North will house a relocated Sam’s Club and Gainesville’s first Dick’s Sporting Goods. The city has also received permit applications for an Aldi supermarket, Orangetheory Fitness, Jimmy John’s and Jersey Mike’s Subs.

Another Aldi is in the works for Northwest 13th Street and 39th Avenue. Lucky’s Market and Earth Fare opened organic grocery stores in Gainesville last year. Butler Plaza also has a Trader Joe’s grocery store and two Publix supermarkets.

http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160211/ARTICLES/160219915?p=all&tc=pgall

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