Whole Foods Cutting 1,500 Jobs In Order To Offer Customers Lower Prices

Your next shopping trip to Whole Foods may come with a bit less interaction with employees, as the health food chain said Monday that it would be eliminating approximately 1,500 jobs in order to offer lower prices for its goods. 

The company announced today that it would undergo a net reduction of about 1.6% of its workforce as part of its “ongoing commitment to lower prices for its customers and invest in technology upgrades while improving its cost structure.”

The reductions are expected to take place over the next eight weeks, the company says, noting that many of the lost jobs will come from attrition.

Affected employees have been offered several options, including transition pay, severance, or, in some cases, the opportunity to apply for other jobs.

“This is a very difficult decision, and we are committed to treating affected Team Members in a caring and respectful manner….We will pay these Team Members in full over the next eight weeks as they decide which option to choose.” Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, said in a statement. “We believe this is an important step to evolve Whole Foods Market in a rapidly changing marketplace.”

The workforce reduction is just the latest issue facing Whole Foods. Back in July, the company admitted to the “unintentional” overcharging customers for some prepackaged fresh food items.

Investigators in New York City had turned up evidence of some 800 violations at Whole Foods stores since 2010, with overcharges ranging from $.80 to nearly $15.

“By any measure, it had a significant impact on our sales,” admitted Robb during the earnings call in late July. “If trust is broken, it has to be rebuilt a step at a time.”

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