Aisle inside Whole Foods Online Only Store in Industry CityShopper putting bags on shelf at Whole Foods Online Only Store in Industry CityShoppers with carts at Whole Foods Online Only Store in Industry CityBags ready to go at Whole Foods Online Only Store in Industry CityEntrance to Whole Foods Online Only Store in Industry CityWhole Foods Online Only Store in Industry City

In Industry City, Brooklyn, Whole Foods Market has opened an online-only store that you can’t shop in. It’s the company’s first ever permanent, online-only store in Brooklyn. In recent years, when you entered a Whole Foods grocery store in New York City you might be struck by something odd after a while: most of the “shoppers” were actually “Whole Foods Market Team Members,” pulling items for delivery customers.

When Amazon bought the grocery chain and introduced PrimeNow delivery for Whole Foods, this phenomenon seemed to increase. In the early days of the pandemic, it became nearly impossible to get a delivery slot with New York City residents scrambling to stock up goods without going outside. As such, it makes sense that Whole Foods would introduce an online-only store, nicknamed a “dark” store, which a spokesman for the company tells Untapped New York will allow them “to better serve the community and meet the growing demand for grocery delivery.” They also tell us that they’ve “hired hundreds of Whole Foods Market Team Members and other applicants throughout the NYC area, who will be dedicated to preparing orders for grocery delivery, enabling us to reach more customers than ever before.”

Shopper putting bags on shelf at Whole Foods Online Only Store in Industry CityPhoto Katherine Marks/Whole Foods Market

Shoppers with carts at Whole Foods Online Only Store in Industry City

Located at 167 41st St, the Whole Foods online-only store has glass sliding doors, like a real store, but you have to check-in as a worker when you enter. It has Whole Foods Market-branded shopping carts. Social distancing and directional stickers show people how to navigate the store. Items are displayed on shelves with pricing stickers. But there are also stations set up to bag and tag the orders. Workers use a smartphone to see the items they need to fulfill and complete the orders. Each bag gets a bar code, is scanned by the workers, and placed on a shelf ready to get delivered.

Bags ready to go at Whole Foods Online Only Store in Industry City

Shopper putting bags on shelf at Whole Foods Online Only Store in Industry CityPhoto Katherine Marks/Whole Foods Market

Industry City is located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The former shipping, warehouse, and manufacturing facility was redeveloped into a mixed-use facility that includes retail stores (outlets for ABC Home & Design, Restoration Hardware, et al.), small batch distilleries like Brooklyn Kura and Standard Wormwood which have tasting rooms, a food hall, and other manufacturing spaces.

One thought on “Whole Foods Opens Online-Only Store in Brooklyn

  1. I have used online delivery and I found that about half of the things I ordered were not delivered. I started to think it was to many items I used to buy regularly that they kept saying was out of stock.
    After months of having to go out to shop at a different store to find the items I was missing, I finally went back to my normal store. Wouldnt you know that most of the items I was not getting were right where they always were.
    I learned a valuable lesson., the only way you can make sure you get the items you need is to shop for yourself. The problem with other people shopping for you is there is no real incentive built into these online shoppers pay scales to make sure they do a good job.
    In New York City they can not deliver to your apartment, they just drop the bags in the lobby and are gone before you can tip them.

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