Whole Foods has undergone plenty of changes since being acquired by Amazon in 2017. Much of the talk has been around expansion: As recently as last May, Amazon said they planned to open over 40 new stores. However, there have been closures as well, including shutting down the entire lower-cost Whole Foods 365 store brand.
Now, Whole Foods is thinning the herd once again. The company has confirmed they are shutting down six of their markets across the country, though most Americans shouldn't be impacted: The company points out the closures represent just a small percentage of their over 530 total locations.
The markets that are closing are in Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama; Tarzana, California; Brookline, Massachusetts; and the Englewood and DePaul neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois. Most of these locations will shut almost immediately — by May 6 — while the Englewood location will close in the coming months.
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Importantly, a Whole Foods Market spokesperson stressed that these closures have nothing to do with the grocery chain's overall growth strategy, which otherwise seems to be continuing unabated. Whole Foods still has over 50 new stores in the pipeline and is constantly on the lookout for potential new sites.
But as for why the aforementioned locations were getting the axe, they apparently weren't up to snuff. "As we continue to position Whole Foods Market for long-term success, we regularly evaluate the performance and growth potential of each of our stores, and we have made the difficult decision to close six stores," the spokesperson stated in an email. "We are supporting impacted Team Members through this transition and expect that all interested, eligible Team Members will find positions at our other locations."
Meanwhile, though these Whole Foods stores may be closing, others have recently got a very Amazon upgrade: Just two week ago, the brand announced they were rolling out their palm-scanning payment technology to Whole Foods locations in the Austin, Texas area.