Amazon.com’s Whole Foods Market grocery chain plans to lay off hundreds of corporate employees as part of a reorganization, the company announced Thursday.
The chain will reduce the number of operating regions from nine to six, according to an internal memo reviewed by Bloomberg. The company isn’t eliminating positions in stores or distribution centers, and the cuts amount to about 0.5% of the grocery chain’s total workforce. Whole Foods has about 500 grocery stores in North America and the UK and expects to continue opening about 30 new stores per year in coming years, according to the memo.
“We are evolving our operating structure and making adjustments to some corporate teams, so we can better support our stores as Whole Foods Market continues to grow and expand its reach to serve more customers,” a spokesperson said in a statement. The workforce reductions were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.
The job cuts at Whole Foods coincide with Amazon’s continuing effort to reduce costs and wind down marginal or unprofitable projects. Seattle-based Amazon started letting workers go in November and laid off thousands more in January. Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy in March said that more cuts are coming as soon as this month, once managers identify which roles to eliminate. All told, Amazon expects to ax at least 27,000 people.
Amazon shares were little changed in extended trading after closing at $103.81 in New York. The stock has jumped 24% this year.