From a work force perspective, Whole Foods will be a little more hallow in the coming weeks. However, as an organization the grocer believes leaner is better.
Whole Foods is expected to lay off hundreds of workers while it restructures the organization, according to a memo reported first by the Wall Street Journal.
“As the grocery industry continues to rapidly evolve, and as we — like all retailers — have navigated challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and continued economic uncertainty, it has become clear that we need to continue to build on these changes,” the memo said. “With additional adjustments, we will be able to further simplify our operations, make processes easier, and improve how we support our stores.”
Whole Foods will be decreasing its operating regions from nine to six and centralizing some units within its operations division. Category-specific store operations support will switch from a regional structure to a team within global operations. Supply chain management will now be within Whole Foods’ global supply chain division. Global support teams will receive further adjustments and the company’s team member services will be enhanced.
“We are confident these changes will allow us to better support our stores, team members, and suppliers, elevate the customer experience, and position Whole Foods for continued growth,” the company said.
This is not the first time Whole Foods has gone through a transition. In 2021, the company announced plans to merge global and regional merchandising teams and create new leadership roles for local products and supplier relationships.
Growth also will be a core function in the coming years. About 50 stores are currently in development and another 100 are expected to be in the pipeline. The plan is to open 30 or more stores annually.