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Showdown between Whole Foods and Trader Joe's coming to L.A.

The first of the new 365 by Whole Foods Markets stores will open in Silver Lake in 2016. (Julie Jacobson / AP)

The first test for Whole Foods Market Inc.'s new value-oriented stores will be in one of the nation's most competitive grocery landscapes.

The Austin, Texas-based chain said the first of its new 365 by Whole Foods Market stores will open next year in Silver Lake, setting up a potential showdown with rival Trader Joe's.

The former site of a Ralphs was originally intended for a regular Whole Foods Market, but the company decided to renegotiate the lease to expedite the new store's opening. The store will be about 30,000 square feet and may have a wine bar.

Whole Foods operates 24 stores in the Los Angeles area. A downtown Los Angeles store will open in November inside a luxury apartment complex on Grand Avenue.

"Los Angeles is the perfect dense, urban market" to introduce...