The e-commerce retailer is finishing up its acquisition of the grocer for $13.7 billion, and it is looking for way to lower costs. One such manner of doing so would require using its robots to automate some of the labor of Whole Foods’ operations, namely in the distribution segment.
It is unclear exactly how many jobs would be affected by Amazon’s initiative, but it is expected that many of the grocer’s workers at its warehouses will no longer be necessary. Cashiers are not expected to be affected, but distributors’ labor will be automated.
Amazon has been stating for a while that automating its labors is a key part of improving its business by reducing costs and upping the efficiency of its operations. All in all, Whole Foods has 11 distribution centers around the country.
The company also has seafood processing plants, kitchens, and bakeries that help prepare products before they are put on shelves. All of these places are expected to be affected.
Amazon has added plenty of robots to enhance operations, but it has still managed to retain many of its workers as its workforce had increased 43% by the end of March compared to a year ago, amounting to 351,000 employees.
AMZN stock fell 0.7% Monday, while WFM shares slipped 0.5%.