Whole Foods Says Layoffs Are Necessary To ‘Improving How We Operate’—Employees Can’t Be Happy!

whole foods storefront
whole foods storefront

Amazon’s Whole Foods is making some significant changes to their business organization and operations in order to “simplify processes” and “improve how [they] operate,” the company announced in a memo sent to Team Members on April 20. Unfortunately for some employees, these changes mean that Whole Foods will have to let hundreds of members go as they reorganize certain regional and global support teams.

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Whole Foods will lay off several hundred employees

A Whole Foods spokesperson recently confirmed to CNBC that the operational changes, which they will implement over the next two months, will result in the layoffs of several hundred employees across global and organizational teams.

"These changes will impact our Team Members in different ways," the company wrote in their memo. "Store and facility-based roles are not directly impacted, though there will be some adjustments to how support and store teams work together. There will be some reductions in headcount on certain Global and Regional support teams." On top of the lawsuit regarding the company recording workers without their consent earlier this year, we can only imagine that Team Members aren't happy with this news.

Although the layoffs will reportedly affect less than a half percent of the company's global workforce, Whole Foods acknowledged the difficulties these changes will cause. "While change is necessary and healthy for a sustainable business, it can also be very challenging, particularly when it affects the lives of Team Members. We are committed to supporting all impacted Team Members through these transitions," the memo reads.

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Changes coming to Whole Foods

So, what exactly are these operational changes that will result in company layoffs? In the company-wide memo, the Whole Foods executive team stated that they will be adjusting their regional map in order to consolidate from nine regions to six. "Moving to fewer regions of similar sizes will allow us to quickly make decisions, implement sustainable processes, and scale innovations," they wrote. However, no stores will be closed in the process. Whole Foods closed multiple stores last spring. 

Other changes include the implementation of a companywide Operations team, enhanced Team Member Services (TMS) support for Team Members and Leaders, and adjusted structures and improved processes of other Global Support Teams "to provide more effective, timely, and consistent support to stores and ensure support teams can focus on priority initiatives."

Overall, Whole Foods believes the upcoming changes are necessary to the company's growth, and that they will benefit employees in the long run. "As we simplify processes and improve how we operate, we will be able to quickly respond to evolving business needs, focus more on our most impactful work, and invest in new ways to serve all stakeholders," they wrote.

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