Why does Whole Foods have so many empty shelves these days?

Why does Whole Foods have so many empty shelves these days?

They love the lower prices, but Business Insider reports that people all over the USA have noticed there's less food in the stores - and they've been posting evidence of bare shelves on Twitter.

But employees say the problem stems from a new buying system called order-to-shelf that Whole Foods implemented early past year, before the acquisition, according to Business Insider. Described by Business Insider as a "tightly controlled system created to streamline and track product purchases, displays, storage, and sales", the system allows employees to essentially forgo stock rooms by carrying products directly from delivery trucks to shelves. OTS has caused a lot of employees to move past stock rooms and bring products directly from delivery trucks to Whole Foods shelves. Shoppers believe the blame lies in Amazon, which has failed to keep up with increasing foot traffic in its stores since the $13.7 billion purchase.

Earlier this month, Barclays analysts visited Whole Foods stores across the country and found "entirely empty" shelves and high out-of-stocks in every department, as well as food that appeared to be in poor condition. Workers say that it's "crushed" morale in stores, where everybody operates in a sort of constant fear of getting "walked" (having management physically go through their section). It's not that we don't care - we do.

AMZN stock is up more than 0.3% on Thursday. A product mention by a celebrity, for example, could lead to rush in purchases a store may not be prepared for under the OTS system losing potentially thousands of dollars in sales.

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Employees said they have been following the same inventory and ordering processes since they opened in September. "After three write-ups, they can lose their job", Business Insider reports.

"Last week, we ran out of onions and potatoes twice", an employee of a Brooklyn Whole Foods store said.

'Entire displays, refrigerated cases, and end caps were completely empty. And Trader Joe's, the discount natural food chain, was just ranked as the most preferred supermarket in a national customer poll.

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