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Whatever Happened To "If You Build It, They Will Come?"

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Oct 4, 2006 2:03PM

2006_10_wfoods2.jpg Southgate Market, the ginormous shopping mall being built in the South Loop, will have a few stores open for shoppers in a few short weeks, just in time for the holidays. However, the mall's centerpiece retailer -- you know which one -- won't be one of them.

In today's Bright One, a Whole Foods spokesperson said that the 55,000-square-foot store won't be open until May, as they work out the kinks and figure out what South Loop residents eat. "We build the stores around the trends we see," Kate Klotz said. Y'know, because their eating habits are so different from folks in Lincoln Park and Lakeview.

Now, we aren't one to pile on (right), but all Whole Foods really needed to do was hang out in the South Loop for a day, scout the competition, determine that there is none, and open the damn store. That's the only trend you need to know. There was a lot of discussion about this very subject last year right on this site. All South Loop residents want is some variety in their shopping. They want a Whole Foods.

If you want to add a little local flavor to the store, fine. Hire someone from city or county government to greet customers with one open hand and procure shopping carts with four good wheels -- for a small "consulting" fee -- with the other. While you're doing that and raking in the money, the city will work on building that giant broom to shoo away any remaining signs of old Chicago.