Amazon to reduce workforce at Fresh grocery outlets

This is part of a cost-cutting exercise

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Headcount is being reduced at Amazon’s 40+ Fresh grocery stores across the US. The retailer is doing away with the ‘zone lead’ role, that is, a store manager role with the responsibility of overseeing work in individual departmental responsibilities, including training of employees.

The exact number of employees who will be asked to leave has not been officially disclosed. However, media reports say that hundreds may be impacted. The company has reduced its global headcount by about 27,000 in the last one year.

Amazon is apparently trying to rehaul its operations model and its in-store workforce to offer more efficient services to its customers and workforce. Early this year, Amazon had revealed its intentions to shut down some of its Fresh outlets and Go stores.

According to the Washington Post, employees have been offered either other roles within the company or a severance package.

The maximum number of these Fresh outlets are located in Virgina, Washington, California and Illinois. Over 20 cashier-free convenience stores are also operated by it in the US in the form of Amazon Go. About six years ago, Whole Foods was also bought by Amazon in a $13.7 billion deal. In April, Whole Foods laid off hundreds of its employees a part of a restructuring exercise.

In trying to reduce costs, Amazon has been checking spends across its operations, so it is not surprising that the grocery stores were also affected. Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon, had spoken of the need to identify a suitable ‘mass grocery format’.

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