150 jobs at risk as Amazon shuts 2 UK Whole Foods stores

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UK Whole Foods

Two UK Whole Foods stores are set to be shut just months after the health food grocer was acquired by tech giant Amazon.

The £10.7 billion deal, which was given the green light by US competition market authorities in August, saw Amazon attain 460 Whole Foods – stores nine of which are in the UK.

However, two stores in Cheltenham and Giffnock in East Renfrewshire are now set to close, jeopardising 150 jobs.

“It makes perfect sense for Whole Foods to close both stores from a business standpoint, the logistics must be nonsensical,” Grocery Insight’s Steve Dresser said.

“I think it marks the new age from Amazon where the balance sheet is scrutinised and sacred cows in Gloucester and Scotland aren’t permissible just to ‘spread the brand’.”

“A decision on the future of the stores will be made after the company has consulted with team members to discuss the proposal.

“In the event that the decision is taken to close the stores, we will work with team members to explore alternative employment opportunities.”

Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods was widely regarded as its first push into bricks-and-mortar retail.

This followed numerous stories covering the development of its cashless grocery store Amazon Go, telegraphing its interest in bricks and mortar retail.

So far its UK operation has largely been used to expand its Amazon Fresh range, while its much larger US operation has successfully expanded its distribution network.

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