After building a dozen of its Whole Foods 365 stores across the United States — including one in the Wallhaven area on Akron's west side — Amazon-owned grocery chain Whole Foods Market has announced it will discontinue the smaller, value-based store concept.

In an internal memo obtained Friday by the Austin American-Statesman, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said the grocery chain will continue to operate its 12 existing 365-brand stores and that employees of those stores will see no change.

“As we have been consistently lowering prices in our Whole Foods Market stores over the past year, the price distinction between the two brands has become less relevant,” Mackey said. “We believe that the price gap will further diminish.”

Whole Foods began rolling out its 365 stores three years ago as a cheaper, smaller alternative to its regular stores. The Akron store opened in September 2017.

There are five 365 locations in California, two in Georgia and one each in New York, Texas and Oregon.