New order-to-store system blamed for Whole Foods shortages

'Entire aisles are empty': Whole Foods food shortages anger customers, workers

Whole Foods Has an Empty-Shelf Problem — and a 'Militaristic' Stocking System Is Reportedly to Blame

"The system is now set up to pretty much only have enough product to keep the shelf full and no extra", an employee of a store in Sacramento, California, told Business Insider.

Many shoppers are pointing to Amazon as the culprit for the inventory shortage, assuming the online retailer's focus on cost-cutting is undermining the efficiency of its recently acquired grocery store.

According to a Business Insider report, employees of the upscale supermarket chain said food shortages at various stores are a result of a "buying system called order-to-shelf that Whole Foods implemented across its stores early past year", even before Whole Foods was acquired by Amazon for $13.7 billion in August. But for Whole Foods, the empty shelves have nothing to do with the weather.

Practically since the day Amazon took over, Whole Foods customers have griped about products being out of stock.

"But our hands are tied", an assistant manager from IL told Business Insider.

If a stockroom is like an inventory middleman, think of OTS as a way for workers to go straight to the source, more or less - per Business Insider, products now arrive on trucks, then go directly onto store shelves.

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According to Business Insider, Whole Food's executives have "described the changes as cost-saving, and employees acknowledge that they have helped reduce food spoilage in stock rooms". "Regional and upper store management know about this", an Illinois Whole Foods manager told BI.

"It's not that we don't care - we do".

Delish has reached out to Whole Foods for comment, though we haven't received a response at this time. "But our hands are tied".

We checked out the Whole Foods location in Wall Friday morning to see for ourselves, and it was, in fact, well stocked. "After three write-ups, they can lose their job", Business Insider reports.

It's not clear what-if any-measures Amazon will be taking to remedy the situation.

The streamlined system is meant to reduce food waste and save the company money, however it seems to be creating more problems than solutions when it comes to customer satisfaction.

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