After taking over Whole Foods, Amazon is now launching a new, more mainstream chain of grocery stores, according to Business Insider. And it makes me wonder why, when they haven't yet mastered the managing of Whole Foods. At least not when it comes to keeping their markets stocked. In fact, it's incredible how consistently empty their shelves are.
Ever since Amazon took over the "natural" food grocery store, I started noticing walls of shelves with gaping holes where food should be, and oftentimes even entirely without food. It was so surprising that I took photos several times throughout the year to text to friends. I do like the fact that they've lowered their prices, which has seduced me into coming into the store in the first place (I used to avoid the market for their astronomical prices), but it's frustrating to go in with the idea of buying some eggs only to find there aren't any uncracked ones left.
So what's the problem?
Via Business Insider:
Business Insider spoke with seven Whole Foods employees, from cashiers to department managers, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
Order-to-shelf, or OTS, is a tightly controlled system designed to streamline and track product purchases, displays, storage, and sales. Under OTS, employees largely bypass stock rooms and carry products directly from delivery trucks to store shelves. It is meant to help Whole Foods cut costs, better manage inventory, reduce waste, and clear out storage.
But its strict procedures are leading to storewide stocking issues, according to several employees. Angry responses from customers are crushing morale, they say. (Many of the photographs in this story were provided to Business Insider by customers.)
"At my store, we are constantly running out of products in every department, including mine," an assistant department manager of an Illinois Whole Foods told Business Insider. "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."
Interestingly, Business Insider says Amazon's new stores, which "may or may not carry the Amazon name," plan to carry bigger brands so that they can compete with stores like Target and Walmart. They also plan to carry a larger variety of food (well, that's not saying much, given the dearth of stock they currently keep).
They plan to open their first store in Los Angeles by the end of the year.