Amazon Is Slashing Jobs at Whole Foods in New England Region
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Whole Foods was just purchased in June by Amazon and the deal is expected to transform how America buys their food. The deal was greenlighted in August by the Federal Trade Commission.
Business Insider has unveiled that, “Whole Foods is slashing regional and in-store marketing and graphic-design jobs in its latest push to centralize operations, said people with knowledge of the matter.”
The cuts are just one of the recent changes hitting the grocery chain under the new leadership.
“It's not clear exactly how many jobs will be affected, but the company operates about 450 stores and 11 regional offices in the US. About 10 positions will be eliminated from each regional office," according to a source who told Business Insider."
These reported job cuts are just some of the changes implemented at Amazon.
Whole Foods employees were told that Whole Foods wanted to "centralize" the jobs and have regional and global teams handle those tasks that can be done outside the store. But the impact locally is that the hand-drawn blackboard signage will disappear and local advertising promotions with community organizations may go away.
These job cuts are just one of the Amazon-driven initiatives that are making Whole Foods workers nervous.
Amazon Go - No Cashiers
In January, Amazon launched a de facto “worker-less” store in Seattle.
“Amazon Go is among the boldest efforts by the online retailer to reshape brick-and-mortar shopping. For a pocket-size, 1,800-square-foot convenience store...the concept has had an outsized influence on the retail industry since its surprise unveiling in December 2016,” reports the Seattle Times. Cameras and sensors inside the store track what shoppers take from shelves and what they put back. The credit card linked to the Amazon Go then charges the consumer as they leave the store.
In February, Amazon rolled out a two-hour delivery service called Prime Now delivery which is now available in three cities — Austin, Texas; Cincinnati; Dallas and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The cost is $7.99 for orders of $35 or more and the deliveries are made by contract drivers. That service is expected to be rolled out across the country.
Amazon Lockers at Retail
Amazon Prime delivery lockers are now being located Whole Food store locations allowing Amazon buyers to protect delivers from home theft or the weather.
Toys ‘R’ Us Locations
Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon.com Inc. is exploring the possibility of expanding its retail footprint by acquiring some locations from bankrupt Toys “R” Us Inc. following the recent bankruptcy and liquidation of the 800 stores of the toy retailer. Tens of thousands of Toys ‘R’ Us workers are losing their jobs.
“The online giant isn’t interested in maintaining the Toys “R” Us brand, but has considered using the soon-to-be-vacant spaces for its own purposes," said the source who asked not to be identified because "the talks are private.”
Saul Kaplan, Founder and Chief Catalyst of Business Innovation Factory, says look for the changes at Whole Foods to continue. The implications for retailers, consumer and workers will be transformative.
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