Whole Foods Is Seriously Considering a Move into the Tattoo Industry

Rachel Krause
Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

(Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)

The centuries-long tradition of tattooing has come a long way since 1769, when the word—or rather, tattaw—was first recorded by a a European explorer returning from a voyage to Tahiti and New Zealand. For a long stretch of time, tattoos were associated with sailors, low-class citizens, and criminality; from there they became fashion-forward and cool.

Now they’re done. Tattoos are over. Tattoos are over, not because Adam Levine and Justin Bieber both have sleeves, but because soon you might be able to get them at Whole Foods.

In a move to bait the “younger, budget-conscious shopper,” Walter Robb, the co-CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc., told Bloomberg that the company’s new cheap(er) 365 chain will incorporate other businesses into its stores, like body-care-product sellers (i.e. beauty products), record shops (well, we could use more of those), and tattoo parlors. I don’t know about you, but every time I go to Whole Foods I think to myself, “Man, this Whole Foods would be way better if it had a tattoo parlor.”

According to Robb, the new lower-priced locations will help the Whole Foods brand “reach more communities” than it would be able to with its “mothership,” which is colloquially known as Whole Paycheck.

As ridiculous as it sounds (and it is completely ridiculous), using body art as a means of marketing toward the “young, trendy” crowd is actually genius. Tattoos used to be alternative and societally frowned upon; now they’re straight-up yuppie territory. Even your mom likes them. So, yes, while putting a tattoo parlor in a Whole Foods–esque grocery store seems alternate-universe levels of absurd upon first glance, it really makes perfect sense, for better or for worse.

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