Whole Foods’ British Invasion
Whole Foods Market has crossed the Atlantic. The natural- and organic-foods retailer has dropped anchor in London, opening a three-story, 80,000-sq.-ft. flagship in the city’s posh Kensington neighborhood. The store, Britain’s largest supermarket, is located in a landmark, Art Deco-styled former department store building that has been carefully restored and updated.
The new Whole Foods recalls the chain’s U.S. flagships in both assortment and services, but has a London vibe. A food hall on the top floor contains 13 dining venues, including a pub, with seating for more than 350 diners. There is even a DJ at night. And in keeping with the retailer’s “green” footprint, the store boasts a number of environmental features, including the offset of 100% of its electricity via a partnership with a wind-power supplier.
Whole Foods has a lot riding on its London location, which it envisions as the starting point for expansion throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. It reportedly spent a total of $7 million to build and open the store, and flew in 100 employees from the United States to assist with training. If the store is a hit, Whole Foods could open as many as 30 to 40 stores in the United Kingdom.
Long lines greet iPhone debut
CUPERTINO, Calif. The long-awaited debut of Apple’s iPhone was greeted with long lines outside of Apple and AT&T stores on June 29 with some people camping out days to get one. Analysts expected Apple’s new smart phone to sell about 200,000 units during its first weekend in release.
The combination phone and Web browser is selling for $499 for a basic phone and $599 for a version with 8GB of memory. The sleek phone that’s operated with a touch screen also comes with an iPod and a camera. The phones are being sold exclusively at 166 Apple stores and 1,800 stores operated by service provider AT&T. Apple ceo Steve Jobs said he hopes to sell about 10 million iPhones during its first year on the market.
CE vet Callahan passes on
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. CE veteran Phil Callahan died from what is believed to be a heart attack June 26 at the age of 57.
Callahan spent several years at Mitsubishi and also held positions at Sumiko, Hitachi and Princeton Graphics Systems. In June 2005 he founded a public relations and consulting firm named Callahan Public Relations and Consulting.