What Renters Want with Jessica Fiur: Whole Foods is Getting a Tattoo Parlor. Should Multifamily?

Should multifamily specifically target Millennials?

By Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor

jfiur thumbnailPeople aren’t shopping at Whole Foods as much as they used to, and profits are down. (Insert “Whole Paycheck” joke here. Actually, don’t. You’re better than that. We’re all better than that.)

So 365, a new grocery chain, is aiming to be a more affordable, “one-stop shop”  version of its parent company Whole Foods. (Ahem, aimed at Millennials, ahem.) Which means, including lower-priced groceries, there will be areas for record shops (records? OK, whatever) and possibly even tattoo parlors.

“This isn’t your mother’s grocery store. We’re super cool! Please spend your Millennial dollars here,” I imagine Whole Foods executives saying.mean girls


But, while clearly pandering to Millennials, is this also sort of genius? Maybe not sanitary to get a tattoo around fresh produce, but genius nonetheless?

Tattoos are extremely popular now. People need to eat. And making more than one trip is not green and is also a pain. So why not?

Should multifamily get in on the action? (I’m thinking for mixed-use apartments, by the way, not to have a tattoo parlor in the lobby as a resident amenity. Unless…)

Of course there are exceptions. But mixed-use apartments usually feature grocery stores and traditional retail stores. Maybe a restaurant here or there. But maybe multifamily would benefit from taking a few risks, by being a little edgier.

Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.

Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.

Maybe developers should be looking to lease to tattoo parlors in their retail space. That could end up attracting more people to the multifamily development. Or, what about a bar? A gym could be cool if the building itself didn’t offer one as an amenity (and maybe they could offer residents discounts to the gym as a way to make the apartments even more attractive)—especially if it was one of those trendy gyms such as SoulCycle. And…so forth. I can’t think of any other cool types of places. Get off my lawn.

This could end up attracting a whole new demographic to your apartment community.

However, on the flip side, would some of these places be too distracting or irritating, making the community unattractive to new residents? For example, bars often play their music loud and at late hours, and people tend to smoke outside. And tattoo places freak me out because I hate needles and am a baby, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

What do you think? Should mixed-use multifamily developments gear their retail spaces to what Millennials want right now? Is that too risky an investment, especially as Millennials are getting older? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Post your comments on Facebook or send a tweet to @MHNOnline.