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Whole Foods Market to reduce workforce by 1.6 percent

Layoffs across Whole Foods Market regions began Friday, with the company goal to reduce its workforce by 1.6 percent in the next two months.

Christine Kapperman, Senior Content Director

September 28, 2015

2 Min Read
Whole Foods Market to reduce workforce by 1.6 percent

The layoff news summary:

Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFM) announced plans Monday to cut 1,500 jobs in the next two months.

The cuts come as Whole Foods Market has experienced rocky year on the stock market, with shares falling 40 percent this year alone. Co-CEOs Walter Robb and John Mackey in July attributed part of the super-natural retailer’s market challenges on the headline-grabbing pricing issue in New York

Meanwhile, it appears plans for the spinoff 365 by Whole Foods Market remain in place. 

The Whole Foods press release states: 

As part of its ongoing commitment to lower prices for its customers and invest in technology upgrades while improving its cost structure, Whole Foods Market will reduce a number of positions over the next eight weeks. The company estimates the net reduction to be approximately 1,500 jobs, which represents 1.6 percent of its workforce. It anticipates many of the reductions to be managed through natural attrition and expects a significant percentage of affected Team Members 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 in development.

Whole Foods Market added over 9,000 new jobs in the past year and created nearly 35,000 over the past five years.

“This is a very difficult decision, and we are committed to treating affected team members in a caring and respectful manner. We have offered them several options including transition pay, a generous severance or the opportunity to apply for other jobs. In addition, we will pay these team members in full over the next eight weeks as they decide which option to choose,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “We believe this is an important step to evolve Whole Foods Market in a rapidly changing marketplace.” 

About the Author(s)

Christine Kapperman

Senior Content Director, New Hope Network

As the senior content director at New Hope Network, Christine Kapperman combines her 20-year journalism background with her passion for business to cover the natural products industry for and Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine. She also led content at She loves tracking (and tasting) trends as she shares what’s next to show up in cups, plates and in pantries across the United States.

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