Retail

Whole Foods trims staff in wake of Amazon acquisition

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Key Points
  • Whole Foods said it made the decision "to support the needs of the business."
  • It's still unclear exactly how many people are being let go.
  • Earlier in the week, The Wall Street Journal reported more than a dozen executives and senior managers have left Whole Foods since Amazon acquired it last summer.
An employee arranges pre-made salads at a Whole Foods Market location in New York.
Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Grocer Whole Foods is trimming staff in the wake of an acquisition by Amazon, a spokeswoman told CNBC.

"As Whole Foods Market continues to evolve, we constantly evaluate our structure to support the needs of the business and better serve our customers," she said in a statement.

"While we continue to grow in many areas, we recently determined a need to better align staffing. This decision was not made lightly, and we are working closely with impacted Team Members to help them find new roles within the company."

Business Insider first reported on the news Friday afternoon.

The cuts span the company's in-store marketing and graphic design departments, according to Business Insider, which obtained a copy of a Thursday conference call with employees announcing the layoffs.

A representative from Whole Foods declined to comment specifically on those positions being impacted, or on the number of people being cut.

The goal of the cuts is to centralize operations at Whole Foods now that it has a new owner, sources familiar with the matter told Business Insider. Workers are being told they can work until July, receiving benefits until then, the publication said.

Earlier in the week, The Wall Street Journal reported more than a dozen executives and senior managers have left Whole Foods since Amazon acquired it last summer.

Tensions meanwhile have been growing between Whole Foods and its suppliers to the point that the chain earlier this week called a summit with those suppliers.

A key topic of debate has been Whole Foods' efforts to centralize its merchandising, as the retailer shifts from a local orientation to a national one.