[Ed. – Is that everywhere? A lot of stores in California are looking the same way these days. As a customer, I can confirm that it makes for an unpleasant experience to be regularly confronted with empty bins where staples like Roma tomatoes and different kinds of bell peppers should be. Not to mention stores inexplicably running out of things like kitchen sponges and dryer sheets.]
Whole Foods is facing a crush of food shortages in stores that’s leading to empty shelves, furious customers, and frustrated employees.
Many customers are blaming Amazon, which bought Whole Foods in August for $13.7 billion. Analysts have speculated that the shortages could be due to a spike in shopper traffic in the wake of the acquisition.
But Whole Foods employees say the problems began before the acquisition. They blame the shortages on a buying system called order-to-shelf that Whole Foods implemented across its stores early last year. …
It is meant to help Whole Foods cut costs, better manage inventory, reduce waste, and clear out storage.
But its strict procedures are leading to storewide stocking issues, according to several employees. Angry responses from customers are crushing morale, they say.