Monday, 17 December, 2018

What's the problem at Whole Foods Market?

Whole Foods Source Shutterstock
Lora Ball | 20 January, 2018, 02:20

Shoppers at Whole Foods Markets across the USA have been astonished to discover empty shelves at their local stores in recent months, with one customer describing the stores as "the Soviet Safeway". If you don't recall, the online retailer bought Whole Foods last summer for $13.7 billion, and some have concluded that the food shortages in numerous store's locations are being caused by the heavy increase in foot traffic over the past few months. The system, called Order-to-Shelf (OTS), "is a tightly controlled system created to streamline and track product purchases, displays, storage, and sales", according to Business Insider, which spoke to several employees familiar with the system. The order-to-shelf, or OTS, system was implemented early past year and meant to reduce unnecessary inventory and spoilage. Extra stock is a common practice for most supermarkets to avoid empty shelves.

Whole Foods' employees point to an ordering system implemented by the chain in 2017 for the glitches.

Business Insider spoke with seven Whole Foods employees, from cashiers to department managers, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. "Regional and upper store management know about this", an Illinois Whole Foods manager told BI. Out-of-stock products lead to missed sales and unhappy customers. It's not that we don't care. There's no more need (apparently) for stock rooms and employees simply carry food items directly from the delivery trucks to store shelves. "But our hands are tied".

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"Last week, we ran out of onions and potatoes twice", one employee said, according to Business Insider.

Employees tell Business Insider the system is supposed to save money, but customers are getting angry over the empty shelves and aisles. "Entire aisles are empty at times".

"The prepared-food section is not refreshed and food looks stale", customer Duane Palm said, according to Business Insider. "Everything has turned downward since Amazon took over".

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