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Whole Foods To Open A Lower-Priced Chain To Attract Younger Shoppers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Whole Foods is a popular high-end grocery store that prides itself on healthy, organic food.

But in 2016 it will open a new chain to win over younger shoppers -- and anyone else -- with lower prices.

In a conference call with investors on Wednesday, CEO John Mackey said, "This new format will feature a modern, streamlined design, innovative technology, and a curated selection."

"It will offer a convenient, transparent, and values-oriented experience geared towards millennial shoppers, while appealing to anyone looking for high quality, fresh food at great prices," Mackey added.

"I think it's fantastic," said Aubrey Lowen of Point Breeze, shopping at Whole Foods in East Liberty on Thursday.

"I think it's a wonderful idea," added shopper Tiffany Fielder of East Liberty.

Many like the idea of healthy food at lower prices.

"There's a lot of people who'd like to shop at Whole Foods, but they're always scared that Whole Foods have like really expensive prices," observed Mohammed Ettadouni of Oakland.

"Since there are so many colleges and a lot of younger kids here, I think if they did their prices a little cheaper they would get a lot more people in here," added Katie Shreves of Ross.

Whole Foods is expanding in Pittsburgh with stores in East Liberty and Wexford -- and one soon to open in Upper St. Clair.

But Point Park University professor Elaine Luther says this new chain will be different.

"Looks like they've combined that idea of price and convenience and they're rolling it all up together to target that younger group, the millennials," Luther told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

So will one of these lower priced Whole Foods stores be located in Pittsburgh?

The company's not saying.

While they are negotiating leases around the nation, they're not indicating how many or where the stores will be, saying more details will be released around Labor Day.

Luther is optimistic Pittsburgh is on a short-list.

"I wouldn't be surprised because of that attraction of Google and Carnegie Mellon and a young smart millennials," said Luther.

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