retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Whole Foods announced yesterday that it will open a 20,000 square foot store in downtown Detroit in 2013, a move that the Wall Street Journal described as “planting a full-scale national-chain grocery outlet in the heart of town and offering a boost to the city's efforts to attract more young professionals.” The store will be in the Midtown district, which the Journal describes as “a bright spot among the city's neighborhoods with its mix of bars, restaurants and apartments, and anchored by a large medical complex, a university campus and arts institutions.”

According to the story, “The store plan comes at a crucial moment for a city still buffeted by high joblessness, a depressed housing market and lingering effects of the auto industry's retrenchment.

“While Detroit's population has fallen precipitously in the past decade, officials see more promising trends in the population of young people, who are trickling back into the city.”
KC's View:

Detroit has gotten very little in the way of positive public relations in recent years, but it does seem that the tide may be turning. I heard a story the other day about how tax breaks have been responsible for bringing a number of film products to the city, which is positive for the local economy.

I hope this works out for both Whole Foods and Detroit. I’m guessing that the company probably should do some things to customize the store for the local neighborhood, both in terms of product and prices. And I hope that Detroit’s optimism about downtown is realized in actual growth and prosperity. Because it’d be a doggone shame if it were just a matter of Whole Foods’ love for Detroit making all its lies seem true...