Over the next three months, Whole Foods will be opening membership-only Wellness Clubs in a handful of stores, starting with Dedham, Mass., which opened last week.
In an effort to change the supermarket experience for shoppers even more than they already have, Whole Foods, which is the largest natural foods chain, will be offering Wellness Clubs for those who want to join and get lifestyle evaluations and access to classes in nutrition, cooking and health. For a one-time fee of $199 and monthly membership dues of $45, members also get 10% discounts on 1,000 foods sold in Whole Foods.
After seeing how the Wellness Club does in the preliminary locations, Whole Foods will consider rolling out the club in most of its 310 stores across the nation. If the first five clubs are hits, Whole Foods will introduce 10 more in 2012 followed by the rest of the nation the following year. For those of you in Chicago, Oakland, Tribeca, N.Y., and Princeton, N.J., look for your Wellness Clubs to open sometime in the fall.
There will be approximately 32 classes that are part of the Wellness Club and some will even have Supper Clubs for members featuring big discounts on healthy meals that are served in the store.
The whole idea for the Wellness Clubs is said to have come from an in-house program that saw hundreds of Whole Foods employees lose weight and lower cholesterol levels. Since Whole Foods has been an industry leader since it’s inception, it’s likely that if the Wellness Clubs take off and are a success, other chains will follow.