Amazon is reportedly planning to cut jobs at Whole Foods (AMZN)
Amazon is planning to cut jobs at Whole Foods when it takes over the company, according to a Bloomberg report published Sunday that cited a source with knowledge of the matter.
The Seattle-headquartered e-commerce giant is considering replacing Whole Foods cashiers with technology, according to the report.
The exact number of roles on the line is not specified, but it could run into the thousands given that Whole Foods employs about 90,000 people, including many on the shop floor.
Amazon also intends to lower the price of Whole Foods products as part of a wider effort to make its grocery offering more appealing to people on low and middle incomes, the report suggests.
Bloomberg isn't the only publication examining the potentially devastating consequences for Whole Foods staff. A separate opinion piece from Forbes contributor Panos Mourdoukoutas on Sunday carried the headline "Amazon-Whole Foods Deal Is Bad News For Store Cashiers And The Fight For $15 Minimum Wage."
It's no secret that Amazon is interested in developing supermarkets that do away with people and replace them with sensors, scanners, and chips. They're called Amazon Go stores.
Amazon Go stores feature technology that allows shoppers to simply walk in, grab what they want, and leave. Amazon opened its first Amazon Go test store in Seattle earlier this year. The cashierless store uses a range of sensors and a smartphone app to know what customers have purchased.
Bloomberg's source reportedly said Amazon was looking at introducing the technology in its Amazon Go stores to Whole Foods stores.
An Amazon spokesperson said Amazon has no immediate plans to make job cuts at Whole Foods as a result of the deal.
"Amazon has no plans to use the technology it developed for Amazon Go to automate the jobs of cashiers at Whole Foods," they said. "No job reductions are planned as a result of the deal."