Upscale food market operator Whole Foods Market Inc <WFM.O> said it would cut about 1,500 jobs, or about 1.6 percent of its workforce, over the next eight weeks.
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The cuts are aimed at reducing costs as the company invests in technology upgrades, Whole Foods said in a filing. (http://1.usa.gov/1KOdoMG)
The affected positions were mainly in stores, but "back of house" positions that were not customer facing, the company said in an email to Reuters.
Whole Foods said it would offer employees options including transition pay, severance, or allow them to apply for other jobs.
The job cuts come as the retailer is working to shed its "Whole Paycheck" nickname and its reputation for high prices. Whole Foods said in May that it would launch a new chain of smaller, more value-focused shops next year.
The company, which dominates the natural and organic grocery category, faces increasing competition from specialty and mainstream retailers.
The New York's Department of Consumer Affairs said in June it was investigating Whole Foods after finding that the company charged too much for some prepackaged foods at nine of its New York City stores.
The company's shares were down 0.5 percent at $30.96 in low volumes in premarket trading on Monday.
(This story corrects to "June" from "July" in paragraph 7)
(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Savio D'Souza)