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AUSTIN, Texas -- The Whole Foods Market flagship store here will feature an innovative display next month created by record label Putumayo World Music.
On March 3, Putumayo will unveil its first World Culture Center at the store, featuring a 12-foot bus with global music and a live "Afro-Latin Party" performance by Cuban recording artist Ricardo Lemvo. Whole Foods will also be offering its first in-store Putumayo World Music channel to enable listeners to travel the world while they shop.
The bus replica is based on the colorful vehicles that traverse rural Colombia, and features MP3 listening stations and a monitor showing music videos from the "Travel the World with Putumayo" DVD. Retail items include CDs, multicultural activity kits from the Putumayo Kids collection, and Putumayo's recently published lifestyle products, including a new World Culture Travel Journal.
Whole Foods e.v.p. Walter Robb came up with the idea for the bus, Putumayo founder/c.e.o. Dan Storper told Progressive Grocer. "We've worked closely over the years with Whole Foods, and Walter Robb suggested that we create something with a more expanded presence. The bus will create a nice, holistic feel in the store."
Putumayo already produces listening stations and small displays placed in other Whole Foods units, Wild Oats stores, and several independent health food and gourmet stores. Storper said he is in discussion with several upscale supermarkets about adding listening stations and CDs for retail.
Beginning in 1975 as a retailer known for its international handicrafts and clothing, Putumayo World Music was launched in 1993, and its CDs are currently distributed in more than 60 countries.