Whole Foods is cutting 1,500 jobs

Whole foods millennialsDamian DovarganesWhole Foods Market cashier Aracelis Ramirez charges customer Thomas Carroll at a Los Angeles store.

Whole Foods is cutting 1,500 jobs.

In an announcement Monday morning, the health food grocer said it would cut up to 1,500 jobs — or about 1.6% of its workforce — as part of its, “ongoing commitment to lower prices for its customers and invest in technology upgrades while improving its cost structure.”

The company said the reduction will take place over the next eight weeks.

“We have offered them several options including transition pay, a generous severance, or the opportunity to apply for other jobs,” co-CEO Walter Robb said in a statement. “In addition, we will pay these Team Members in full over the next eight weeks as they decide which option to choose.”

This announcement comes during what has been simply a bad year for the company, which has seen its shares decline by more than 35%.

Earlier this year, the company was dogged by allegations it was systematically overcharging customers, which comes at a time the company is also working to shed its “whole paycheck” image as an upscale, prohibitively expensive grocery store.

In late July, the company’s stock was hammered after reporting sales that disappointed while also lowering its outlook for sales during 2015.

In a note to clients last week, analysts at Deutsche Bank said that what the company needs is an activist investor to shake things up.

“Whole Foods’ strong cash position, strong operating cash flows, strong brand equity, and long-term unit growth potential could attract the attention of an outsider (e.g., activist) — and, an outsider could be the force needed to enact change at Whole Foods,” the firm wrote.

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