The Future of Whole Foods [Future of Retail]

Rehab Studios implements trends from PSFK’s Future of Retail to reinvent grocery shopping

After identifying key trends and actions in the 2015 Future of Retail Report, PSFK asked creative agencies from around the world to imagine how those recommendations would manifest for real brands. Rehabstudio implemented numerous recommendations including Everyone Of A Kind, Be The Hub, and Kill the Checkout to reinvent the grocery shopping experience for Whole Foods.

Rehabstudio’s activation personalizes interactions at Whole Foods by incorporating information and creating an interactive environment through personal electronics. Upon entering the store, the shopper’s mobile device would recognize they are in a Whole Foods. It would give the wearer contextual suggestions based on availability, location, and history to give users additional information about staying healthy.  Creative partner at rehabstudio Tim Rodgers explains, “Wearable devices allow for a hands-free, personalized, and private guided experience in a retail environment. It’s like having a personal shopper guide you around the store, it knows what the consumer likes, what they might want to try and buy.”


Push notifications would help educate users on the products they are purchasing.  “It’s important that we’re always adding value to the consumer,” Rodgers elaborates, “When the consumer opts into the recommendations, it immediately provides value because the interaction is useful.” The experience has been engineered to encourage impulse purchases throughout the store.


At the checkout counter, the shopper simply sets down their basket to see an electronic preview of their products with additional product suggestions they can add to their baskets. They can opt for same-day home delivery to avoid having to carry a large bag home.

See how the interaction would play out in this scenario for Adam as he shops for a special dinner for his girlfriend, Jenny.


Rehabstudio also redesigned the store’s layout replacing aisles with inviting open spaces, a community kitchen, and gardens. They imagine a rotating stock to reflect the seasons, holidays, and current trends accompanied by in-store demonstrations. By offering these services, Whole Foods becomes a hub for all activities surrounding food.


“At rehabstudio we believe that that in-store retail is going to be less about holding and flogging goods, and more about offering exciting branded experiences. The technology used to support these experiences, from augmented reality through to beacons, will sink or swim depending on how seamless it is, how personalized it can be, and how much value it can add to the consumer,“ says Rodgers.

This approach to the future of grocery shopping encourages customers to engage with the store so the focus is not on picking up basics, but rather on learning about what to eat, how to eat it, and discovering new foods.

Concept by:
77 East Road
London, N1, 6AH
Contact:  Tim Rodgers,

In the fifth volume of the Future of Retail report the PSFK Labs team presents a manifesto to reinvent the store. This content series on will explore emerging retail trends and key strategies necessary to take advantage of them so that brands and retailers can deliver against evolving shopper needs and expectations both on and offline to drive better sales, service and engagement. Download the full report here, view our trend summary on Slideshare and be sure to check back daily for new articles about the latest trends in retail.