Whole Foods Market Continuing Randalls Conquests with Frontal Attack on Wilcrest Store Leftovers

Whole Foods Market Under Construction, 11041 Westheimer Rd. at Wilcrest, Westchase, Houston

Crews have broken open the front of the former Randalls grocery store in the Westchase Shopping Center at the corner of Wilcrest and Westheimer, and are busy inserting a new, smaller Whole Foods Market inside. The photo above shows the view from the One Westchase Center office building, immediately to the east. This isn’t Whole Foods’ first Randalls redo; a new Whole Foods at 1407 S. Voss, on the former site of another Randalls, is scheduled to open next Wednesday.


Whole Foods Market Under Construction, 11041 Westheimer Rd. at Wilcrest, Westchase, Houston

The Westchase Whole Foods Market, which like the S. Voss location will measure 45,000 sq. ft., is meant to replace the existing store on the opposite side of Wilcrest.

Photos: Michael F. Forlenza

Westchase Front

9 Comment

  • Long, long ago, I remember attending an introductory marketing class in which the professor was covering the product cycle, from introduction to acceleration to maturation, and ultimately to decline. He asked for a raise of hands on various products and how they should be categorized. He asked about Starbucks, which by that time had penetrated every third-tier city in the U.S., nearly every university campus, and was beginning to push into stodgy suburban markets. It was still the hot ticket, very trendy. Nobody else in that auditorium raised their hand on classifying Starbucks as having reached maturity, but I did. As some people audibly gasped and others chuckled (which to this day, it is hard for me to fathom that that people would respond like that), he pointed at me and asked why. I said that they’ve made the $5 coffee ubiquitous, no longer a treat for oneself, just normal. Decent coffee is not difficult to make. There are no barriers to entry. There aren’t terribly large economies of scale to coffee retailing. The competition was taking notice. And they had nowhere left to grow that they wouldn’t either cannibalize their own sales or dilute the image of the brand by catering to poorer customers that fail to project an image of the brand’s success toward other higher-margin customers. The professor tentatively concurred. It caused a minor ruckus. Some students became defensive and started speaking up, making tenuous and emotional arguments. My argument had been dryly presented, but it struck a chord and I knew that it would. It had been taken as an indictment of their social identity. They believed themselves to be early adopters, not merely one of the herd, not a clinger-on, and certainly they thought of themselves as open-minded, egalitarian, and pro-social. In fact, their protests demonstrated just how adept they are in picking up on and following society’s cultural conventions; they are arch-followers, and they are the core demographic for trendy brands once they’re recognized as trendy. (To this day, it remains one of my proudest moments in trolling.)

    This is relevant to Whole Foods because they’re going to run up against the same wall if they haven’t already.

  • you’re so great, niche. tell us more about how great you are.

  • @spiteful: LOL.

  • Another Randall’s conversion. WF-Wilcrest outgrew it’s current location and NEEDS way more footage.

  • I spot a Mattress 1 already there!

  • Spiteful: odd. I didn’t take his comment that way at all. I thought it was an interesting point. And if it happened (no reason to think he’s lying), it was well timed.

  • The former Randalls was their first “New Generation” store which helped introduce Houston to open produce racks, bakeries, meat departments ,etc. Sad to see it go. Guess the new generation has picked something else

  • This, to me, is a great sign of progress for this area. We just recently moved to the Briar Forest area (bought a house over there after relocating from Chicago and living in one of those “luxury” apartment cubes in Upper Kirby for a few years), and its been interesting to see the fast-moving progress. I think once the new Conoco Phillips HQ is completed on Westheimer & 8, it will really take off.

  • @Brian: You mean the Phillips 66 HQ on Westheimer & 8