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​Thanks, millennials: Whole Foods mulling tattoo parlors

If you've ever stopped by a grocery store to pick up some milk and thought, "Dang, if only I could get tattooed at the same time," don't worry: Whole Foods (WFM) may soon have you covered.

Whole Foods is considering adding tattoo parlors to its new 365 chain, which is targeting millennial shoppers and the budget conscious by offering smaller stores with lower prices. Whole Foods has been working on the idea since last year, when the millennial generation overtook Baby Boomers as America's largest age group.

Adding tattoo parlors may only be the tip of the youth-focused iceberg, with Walter Robb, the grocer's co-chief executive officer, telling Bloomberg TV that the locations will include suppliers and vendors geared toward millennial interests. Aside from tattoos, the vendors may include record shops and body-care product lines, he said.

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Reaching budget-conscious consumers continues to be a challenge for Whole Foods, which has earned the nickname "whole paycheck" because of its beefy prices. Co-CEO John Mackey has vowed to increase discounts, but a January survey from BMO Capital Markets found that seven out of 10 Whole Foods shoppers hadn't noticed a change in pricing during the past three months.

Rivals such as Trader Joe's have been taking share from Whole Foods as consumers seek out cheaper options. Millennials, of course, are by and large even more budget-constrained than older generations, given that millions are struggling to pay back student loans while starting out their careers.

"There's a number of smaller-store competitors out there that are doing a nice job," Robb said. "We don't see any reason why we can't go participate in that part of the market."

The first 365 by Whole Foods store is slated to open in Los Angeles in May.

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