Whole Foods is open, and Costco is coming. Those two familiar companies have never been in Wichita before, which could have a retail ripple effect on bringing more stores to town.
Sarah Jane May greeted shoppers with her salsa at the front door of Whole Foods Wednesday. Her Wichita made product will now be sold here.
"They have really just pulled us in, made us part of the family," May said. "Advertising and everything, I mean I feel so welcome here."
Offering local options is one way Whole Foods hopes to set itself apart from the competition.
"I think it means more than just another store coming, I think it adds to our community," said Whole Foods Marketing Specialist David Bisek. "This is what people have been asking for."
"We used to live in Colorado and they had Whole Foods all over Colorado, so I did a lot of shopping there," said shopper Ryan Hodges.
Hodges likes having the new grocery option in Wichita, and he'd like to see other retailers come to town too.
"Costco is in Colorado, I don't think there is one here," Hodges said.
Good news, plans call land near Webb and Kellogg to become a new Costco store and fuel center. The first one in Wichita.
"I guess better late than never, but I think Whole Foods and Costco have similar target markets so it make sense that both of them are coming in," said Wichita State Marketing Professor Dotty Harpool. "That will work in our favor because if companies come in and see that this is a good place to be. You will see more stores and more restaurants look at us."
The impact of these new stores may go beyond bringing in other retailers. A study in 2007, often referred to as the Whole Foods Effect, found near-by property values go up around new stores anywhere between 10-20%.
Even though we know where the new Costco store will be built, the company has not confirmed a date when it will open.Who