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I’d give up the 5% discount to have @WholeFoods go back to the way it was before Amazon bought it. Everything else is worse now (and getting even worse). Fewer cashiers, long lines, less-consistent and messier stock, and crowded aisles full of Prime-delivery shopping agents.
56 replies and sub-replies as of Mar 02 2020

There are frequently long lines at ours, and I didn't even consider to correlate it with the acquisition. I was just assuming I started going at busier times.
Mine was like a light switch: just a few weeks after the acquisition, cashiers were cut to the bone and lines got much longer.
Same. And they have dropped at least 30% of what I used to buy there. Every week there is some other staple missing.
Mine was one of the last to open pre-acquisition—I don’t go very often, but I do feel like there have been subtle changes that sort of start to add up. Besides the longer lines and Prime push, the menu for the dine-in cafe/restaurant portion was significantly cut and worsened.
I am prepared for Wegmans to take over.
The stop and shop isn’t the best, but it’s union and not owned by Amazon.
Here in DC, I haven’t noticed the first two effects, but definitely the third. Also, the P Street store turned its mezzanine dining area into a Prime staging zone.
I'm assuming it's the Amazon aesthetic that informed the decision to extend the shelving units to 8ft or 10ft high at the UWS location in #NYC. Maximizing storage maybe, or optimizing restocking -- but no human being can reach those items.
Also, unclear if there's an Amazon causation (began before the acquisition, but has ramped up furiously since), but the aisles of every Whole Foods are now regularly swamped w/Instacart & Prime Now "shoppers" hoovering up items as dictated by their smartphone-ordering overlords.
Every time we go in 90% of the people crowding the aisles are prime delivery shoppers.
It’s just another Amazon warehouse now
I’ll never understand the idea that a successful business can be made better with cutbacks. Where do people think the success came from??
That assumes the goal is to make it better. The goal is typically to increase profits (and hope it doesn't get enough worse in that process to do long-term damage... though even that gets put aside sometimes for short-term profit gains).
Not to mention their benefits for part-time employees were eliminated last year. All the money in the world and yet they won't pay for the people who have been there through it all. It's really sad.
They just added a set of shelves to a popular, wide aisle at mine and with less room + more prime shoppers it's just impossible to get around now
Is there now space for what Whole Foods / Wild Oats once offered?
On top of the things you mentioned, the cafe area in the Whole Foods near me used to have a bunch of stalls in the cafe area offering a nice variety of prepared or carryout dishes and now it's basically just the hot/cold bars and a pizza place.
I have to say - the Chicago store I shop at has been about the same before and after. The prime now shoppers add some crowding but they’ve continued to iterate on the approach and infrastructure in this store.
Same with the Madison store. Those Prime shoppers sure make it crowded though.
No worries, will be zero cashier soon😂
I haven't see that at my local store, but it is a small store. It does feel like it is becoming more of an Amazon store and less of Whole Foods. Amazon should remember that Whole Foods was successful for a reason.
They closed the only @WholeFoodsUK in Scotland when Amazon took over which in turn made some of the local supermarkets go down hill as they no longer needed to compete with them.
At mine, the quality of the pastries has cratered.
And super loud music.
My local WholeFoods has free delivery (over $30) - good way to get it all done online and avoid people/lines. :)
Just wait till they start replacing products with their own generics like they do on Amazon. Already seeing lower quality butcher meat here in LA. Have to imagine they wont stop until they control entire verticals, pushing margins to the extreme
...crappier quality produce, limited selection....
Was your Whole Foods a instacart hub prior to amazon?
We had a 365 by Whole Foods next to us. After the acquisition, they rebranded to be a normal Whole Foods and added ~$2 to the price of everything. I wish I was exaggerating that number. Priced us out.
Newer @WholeFoods seem designed to account for this, but shopping in some of the older ones is awful. Comparing the entire experience at a newer one in Newark, NJ to my old one in Midtown East is night and day.
Amazon has so much money why would they want to sacrifice the customer experience to save on staffing costs? (This is rhetorical I know why)
Me, too. In fact, before the merger that created modern Whole Foods, the northeast stores were Bread and Circus. As a student in Cambridge, MA, I always loved their high-quality produce, meticulously arranged like science-class models of atoms forming a crystal.
That's because it's a Prime delivery distribution center. Indeed, that's how we do all our WF shopping (PITA to go across town to the only store around here).
Also, the Ridge Hill store won’t validate for the garage that has the Tesla urban Superchargers, only for the adjacent lot (minor grumble).
You sure? That’s the store I’m talking about, and I think I once successfully used a ticket validated for one of those two garages in the other one.
I’m going only by my experience and what the customer service desk told me. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if it were inconsistent. I hope your case is the more typical.
Less selection, poorer quality, ugh
Just order more cashiers off amazon? 🤷‍♂️
Never been to one as they aren't a thing in Canada. Aren't you supposed to order online or something?
Sounds WalMart-esque
Just to add food is also garbage now. I bought fruits from whole food and had to throw it away because they were so bad.
The big Whole Foods at Columbus Circle in New York got rid of their fantastic tap room in order to make more space for all the Prime shoppers and I have been in mourning ever since.
FWIW, the @WholeFoods near us still has short lines and clean, stocked shelves.
Not just Whole Foods. My local Kroger & Giant Eagle have less cashiers & more curbside pickup shoppers. One store even got rid of four check lanes & put in self checkout & “scan, pay, and go” stations. There’s always long lines now. Everyday is Black Friday. Like an Apple Store!
Completely agree. A new problem at our store: Costco-sized carts that only the prime shoppers can use!
How do you get the 5%? Amazon Prime Card?
Apparently future stores are going to divide off the Prime delivery stuff so it doesn’t happen in the normal store. That is the rumor I heard about the new Pittsburgh store that is being built.
Just adding anecdotally, but ours are all notably better. Better produce, especially fruit, added express lanes, better on demand meal options, much lower prices, etc.
I would agree with most of that. But the Prime pickers have completely taken over the store.
You’re holding it ... I mean using it wrong? Perhaps they want you to use the amazon ship-your-groceries-to-you way or shopping at Whole Foods: the old way is deprecated as they say...
the last time i was in a whole foods there were prime signs every 2ft and it was super unnerving
Still WholePaycheck pricing, though.
At our local store, the staff basically hates their jobs now too. They will flat out tell you about it (if they know you, as many do). Whatever Amazon has done has ruined it for staff and customers.