Whole Foods Launches First In-store Spa Concept

Whole Foods The Austin-based supermarket chain Whole Food Market recently launched its first wellness spa located within its 52,000 square-foot store in an affluent part of Dallas, Texas. "Refresh: The Everyday Spa" by Whole Foods Market is a 4,500-square foot space above the main floor with seven treatment rooms, including two wet rooms for scrubs and wraps. The prototype is serving as a test bed for consumer acceptance of spas within grocery stores, before any rollout. Massage chairs on the balcony overlooking the main grocery floor provide a range of five- and 10-minute mini treatments.

Spa guests can order from the chef's spa menu, and the store also has a staff dietitian who can be booked for menu planning, diet consultations and shopping guidance. The spa reception area also is stocked with Whole Foods' higher-end beauty and body-care products, including Dr. Hauschka, along with organic-cotton bedding and towels, and organic-fiber clothing. Five years ago, the chain launched its first Whole Body section, a store within a Whole Foods store specializing in health and beauty. It now features 152 of them within its 187-store chain. This past October, Whole Foods introduced a full-color cosmetic line called Mineral Fusion, picking up on the currently hot mineral makeup trend.

The director of "Refresh" is seasoned spa veteran Sherrie Huebner, who was hired from the Lake Austin Spa Resort. She has been a director of spas at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix and the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in San Antonio.