Whole Foods said in a filing that it plans to cut 1,500 jobs, or approximately 1.6 percent of its work force, over the next eight weeks.
The move is intended to lower prices for customers, upgrade technology, as well as improve its cost structure, the retailer said on Monday.
“This is a very difficult decision, and we are committed to treating affected Team Members in a caring and respectful manner,” Co-CEO Walter Robb said in a statement. “We believe this is an important step to evolve Whole Foods Market in a rapidly changing marketplace.”
Many of the reductions will come through attrition.
Laid-off employees will be offered transition pay, severance, or the opportunity to apply for other jobs. Those employees will also be paid in full over the next eight weeks as they decide which option to choose. Whole Foods expects “a significant percentage” of the displaced employees to find 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 shares were down approximately 1 percent at 3:44 pm EDT on September 29.