Whole Foods Expanding to Chester County

The company just signed a lease on 55,000 square feet.

(ChadPerez49/Wikimedia Commons)

(ChadPerez49/Wikimedia Commons)

Whole Foods Market has just signed a lease on 55,000 square feet in Exton, Pa. The Chester County site will be the 11th Whole Foods store in Pennsylvania and the 9th in the Philadelphia area.

No opening date has been set and the number of jobs it will bring to the region is unclear.

It joins a crowded supermarket landscape in Exton which already has a Giant Food Store, Aldi, Bhavani Food Market, Asian Grocery as well as Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club (which have big food sections). Still, when Whole Foods comes to town, the competition had better be on notice.

The news came on the heels of a controversial earnings call where the co-CEOs complained that the media had taken a story about price overcharging too far. Last month, a New York Department of Consumer Affairs investigation found that the high-end grocery chain overcharged for pre-packaged foods like nuts, berries and vegetables. That hurt sales growth. But co-CEO John Mackey said: “It’s just something that went viral in the media and it has hurt our trust and we do feel like we’re victims.”

The company also announced new leases in Ohio, South Carolina and Washington. It also announced plans for the first of its new, less-expensive 365 by Whole Foods Market stores. They’ll be in Washington, California, Portland, Houston and Los Angeles. No word yet on a Philadelphia location.