More reports on: Retail

Whole Foods shelves empty under new stocking system

19 January 2018

A new stocking system  introduced at Whole Foods stores in the US since it was acquired bu online retailer Amazon, has resulted in empty shelves, which employees are desperately trying to keep stocked, according to Business Insider.

Employees find it demoralising as shoppers get angry due to unavailability of stocks.

The problem started after Whole Foods adopted a new stocking system called order-to-shelf (OTS), which is aimed at cutting costs, reducing waste, and cutting down on goods spoiling in stockrooms.

The idea was employees could directly move products from the delivery truck to the shelf, to cut down on items in the stockroom.

However, according to employees who spoke to Business Insider, the drawback was it has led to empty shelves and even empty aisles in Whole Foods stores, as, when they run out of something, there is no backup supply in the stockroom.

An Illinois Whole Foods manager told Business Insider: "At my store, we are constantly running out of products in every department, including mine. Regional and upper store management know about this. We all know we are losing sales and pissing off customers. It's not that we don't care. We do. But our hands are tied."

According to the employees, store managers are instructed to walk through the aisles and stockrooms regularly to make sure of proper implementation of OTS. If anything is found to be not in order managers of concerned areas could be written up leading to employees getting fired.

One employee told Business Insider that something as small as a box facing the wrong way could get someone written up.

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