Whole Foods layoffs have just been announced by the company, explaining that 1,500 job cuts will take place nationwide.
The Times-Picaynne reports that the Whole Foods job cuts were announced on Monday. It’s all in an effort to lower prices for customers and invest in technology. These layoffs are expected to take place within the next eight weeks. The company adds that a portion of the reductions are to happen through “natural attrition.” This term in the business world means to allow employees other options, such as retiring, relocating, or pursuing other avenues of work within the company.
Kristina Bradford, a spokeswoman for Whole Foods Market’s Louisiana locations, confirmed the layoffs in an email the Arabella Station, Veterans, and Broad Street stores will have some employee job cuts. Bradford didn’t elaborate on how many employees would be part of the Whole Foods layoffs, or how which sites were losing the most workers.
Whole Foods said in a statement that it expects a “significant percentage” of affected employees “will find other jobs from the nearly 2,000 open positions across the company or via new jobs created from the more than 100 new stores under development.”
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According to the report, those new stores don’t include one that’s under construction in Mandeville. Bradford said Whole Foods isn’t focusing on hiring at this time for that store, which plans to open sometime in 2016.
Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, Walter Robb, said in a statement that employees impacted in the job cuts are being given several options; some of these involved “transition pay, a generous severance or the opportunity to apply for other jobs.” Additionally, they’ be paid in full over the course of the next eight weeks as they consider their options.
Reuters writes that the “affected positions were mainly in stores, but ‘back of house’ positions that were not customer facing.”
As the report notes, the grocery store job cuts surface as the company is working to rid itself of the “Whole Paycheck” nickname — and its reputation for being a pricey place to shop. Whole Foods said back in May that it has plans to open a new chain of smaller, more value-focused shops by next year.
The food retail giant is a major player in the natural and organic grocery category, but is looking at increasing competition from “specialty and mainstream retailers.”
There’s also an interesting tidbit in the report stating that New York’s Department of Consumer Affairs was investigating Whole Foods upon learning that the company charged too much for some prepackaged foods. This allegedly occurred at nine New York City stores.
In a related report published on the Inquisitr just last week, Caterpillar is also laying off employees. They’ll begin the process of job cuts this year amounting to 5,000 workers, but 10,000 in all are expected to be cut globally by 2018. The company in Peoria, Illinois has seen a significant downsize in profits stemming from the markets that it serves. Construction and heavy equipment demand has gone down in certain businesses. In an effort to cut expenses, Caterpillar must turn to job cuts. They hope to save about $1.5 billion in operating costs within the next year. Once reports are generated for third quarter earnings, it will release the numbers. As it stands, Caterpillar expects to see a 5-percent drop in sales in 2016.
The Whole Foods layoffs is just one of many businesses having to let employees go. The good news is that they’re trying to relocate them or give them other options in the meantime. What will come of the investigation into overpricing remains to be seen. Between that and its fierce competition, it’s hard to know if they’ll need to rehire many of those positions back.