Whole Foods Market plans to cut 1,500 jobs over the next eight weeks, representing 1.6% of its workforce. The downsizing comes as the grocer strives to lower prices and invest in technology upgrades and new store models. As companies such as Kroger and Walmart enter the natural and organic foods market, Whole Foods also is striving to remain competitive in light of the market becoming more crowded.
Many of the job cuts will go through a “natural attrition” process, according to Whole Foods representatives. With approximately 2,000 open positions across the company, the grocer expects that a “significant percentage” of affected employees will take on these positions or new jobs created from the 100+ new stores in development.
“We have offered them several options including transition pay, a generous severance or the opportunity to apply for other jobs,” said Walter Robb, Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “In addition, we will pay these team members in full over the next eight weeks as they decide which option to choose. We believe this is an important step to evolve Whole Foods Market in a rapidly changing marketplace.”
Layoffs also are rumored to be taking place at the corporate offices of Walmart and Sam’s Club through Oct. 31, according to The City Wire. Although Wal-Mart Stores has not confirmed the cuts, The City Wire first reported in July 2015 that up to 1,000 jobs will be cut in the impending layoffs, approximately 5.5% of the brands’ total workforce.