Vegan lifestyle company PlantX is opening a store in Hillcrest, San Diego.
Founded in February of this year by vegan entrepreneur Sean Dollinger, the Vancouver-based PlantX—dubbed the “vegan Amazon”—currently stocks plant-based grocery items on its website. It also offers meal delivery options, house plants, recipes, and even a vegan restaurant locator.
The new 4,515 square foot store in San Diego will serve as a working prototype. PlantX intends to expand its in-store presence within the U.S. and its online presence internationally during the coming year.
Iris Construction Management designed the flagship branch, which currently has a goal opening date of December 1, 2020. “From the E-commerce side of things, heading into the holiday season, we couldn’t ask for a better launch than December 1st,” Dollinger said in a statement.
The new store will offer a curated selection of plant-based products familiar to its existing, online customer base. These include ambient, refrigerated, and frozen plant-based foods. A rotating selection of ready-meals developed by L.A. chef Greg Drusinksy will also be available. All pre-prepared dishes will be available both for delivery and as grab-and-go meals.
Vitamins and supplements, cosmetics, new private label products, and PlantX-branded water will also be available from the new store. It will feature an interactive recipe kiosk, a plant-based education center, and a coffee shop.
“The idea is for the San Diego location to help further that community vibe we have been creating online,” Alexandra Hoffman, PlantX’s Chief Marketing Officer, said in a statement.
“We want customers to come in and feel like they can ask anything,” she said. “Education is always behind everything we do at PlantX, so this store will be a place where people can come in and find new ways to enhance their healthy lifestyles.”
According to PlantX, the new store’s design will incorporate contactless retail standards. Customers can use a PlantX app to scan QR codes on products and pay without going to checkout. Customers can also have their purchases shipped directly to their homes. Contactless shopping has been popularized out of necessity during the COVID-19 crisis.
The pandemic has also driven both supermarket and online sales to record growth over the last six months. It has also driven increased demand for plant-based foods, particularly vegan meat. Companies including Tofurky, THIS, and Beyond Meat reported an increase in their significant supermarket sales.
Before COVID-19, 2019 saw an increase in all-vegan supermarkets opening around the world. Las Vegas gained its first-ever vegan store, while in the UK, shops opened in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.