As more consumers turn to pick-up and delivery grocery options, Whole Foods has opened its first online-only store in Industry City.
Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, announced that the store opened Tuesday at the industrial and retail campus in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, owned by Jamestown Properties. The online retailer has been planning the new store format for more than a year, well before the pandemic increased demand for such services.
Amazon has temporarily turned some Whole Foods locations into online-only stores to accommodate the rise in orders, but the Brooklyn location is the first permanent one. For the second quarter, Amazon reported that its online grocery sales tripled from the same period last year.
Details on the size of the new store and the terms of its lease in the Industry City complex were not immediately available. CNBC first reported the store’s opening.
Whole Foods debuts in Industry City as a fight to rezone the 35-acre campus heads to the City Council. Local Council member Carlos Menchaca and other opponents of the proposal — which would allow for more retail, academic and office space — claim the change will attract gentrifiers who will displace Sunset Park residents.
Supporters of the rezoning, including the de Blasio administration and three City Council members, point to the projected 20,000 jobs and $100 million in tax revenue that Jamestown says its proposed expansion would create. The debate echoes some of the concerns raised when Amazon sought to build a headquarters in Long Island City — a plan it ultimately abandoned, citing political opposition.
A City Council hearing on the rezoning is slated for this month.
Write to Kathryn Brenzel at [email protected]al.com