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Whole Foods groundbreaking at The DomainWhole Foods Market broke ground Nov. 2, 2011, on its Domain store.
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Whole Foods Gateway storeWhole Foods Market decided to keep its Gateway store open after receiving feedback from its customers. The location opened in 1995.
Whole Foods Market announced Aug. 20 that it will open its Domain location Jan. 15. The company also plans to keep the Gateway location open after receiving customer feedback.
“Our guests have told us that they’d like to continue shopping at Gateway,” said Mark Dixon, regional president for the company’s southwest region, in an Aug. 20 news release. “Every store is unique and offers shoppers an experience unlike any other grocery store. This is an exciting opportunity for our shoppers and team members; we’re ready to add our fifth store to the Austin metro.”
At more than 65,000 square feet in size, the Domain store will be the grocer's second-largest location in Austin—the largest being its flagship store on North Lamar Boulevard—and will employ about 300 people. The store is located near the main entrance of The Domain off the MoPac frontage road.
The company is planning a job fair, possibly in December, to hire new employees, said Rachel Malish, Whole Foods’ community relations coordinator for Austin. Because Whole Foods will allow employees to transfer to the new store, she said the company will be hiring for all five of its Austin stores to fill any vacancies.
Located at 9607 Research Blvd., 2.8 miles away from The Domain store, the Gateway location is 34,000 square feet in size and opened in May 1995. Initially the company had planned to close the location after opening The Domain store. However, after receiving strong feedback from customers, Malish said Whole Foods did a great deal of due diligence before deciding to keep the Gateway location open. She said the store might undergo a refresh, as is standard for older locations, but that any improvements would not be considered major.
“The fact that so many of our guests enjoy that location, we wouldn’t want to change it too much,” she said.
Malish said Whole Foods has stores that are thriving in other cities that are just as close or closer in proximity than The Domain and Gateway locations. She cited examples in Houston and Florida where locations are often just 2 miles apart but serve different communities.
On Nov. 2, 2011, Whole Foods broke ground at The Domain, and the company is planning several grand opening events that will take place during opening week as well as a preopening event for guests to get a sneak peek of the store.
Malish said information about grand opening week events and the upcoming job fair will be posted on the company’s Twitter account at @wholefoodsatx and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wholefoodsatx.