business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports on Whole Foods’ newest store in Chicago, scheduled to open next Wednesday: “Compared with its other area stores, the Whole Foods Market scheduled to open July 25 in East Lakeview will be unique in its broader range of prepared foods and its wine-sampling machine. But what the natural and organic food chain is really touting, and what sets it apart in Chicago and nationally, is its location as the anchor tenant in the Center on Halsted, a recently opened gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community center.

“Although Whole Foods is thought to be the first retailer of its size to anchor a gay community center in the U.S., the retailer views its location as more of a gold mine than a gamble, given the population density of its neighborhood just east of Wrigley Field and its demographics.”

The decision by Whole Foods has a solid business rationale, according to the piece, since analysts say that gay customers tend to be more brand loyal and more concerned about a corporation’s workplace and social attitudes than heterosexual shoppers. Whole Foods feels it can meet the demands of those consumers, and hence will be able to turn the new store into a highly profitable location.
KC's View:
Interesting store, and probably one that Whole Foods management was happy to see since the word “blogging” doesn’t appear in it anywhere.