How Whole Foods Market is Responding to COVID-19
To our Whole Foods Market community and customers: We want to make sure you know what to expect when visiting our stores in the coming weeks, as well as how we’re responding to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, both as a retailer and employer.
March 23, 2020
We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one. We care about our team members, customers and products, and we’re evaluating the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in real-time. From here on out, we will update our customers and community on this page of our Whole Foods Market website about the actions we are taking.
March 17, 2020
Whole Foods Market Adjusts Store Hours to Better Serve our Communities
Whole Foods Market recognizes the important role we play in our communities, especially during this challenging time. As we prioritize the health and safety of our customers, Team Members and partners, we remain committed to ensuring that all customers have access to the items they need, taking action to support our Team Members and doing our part to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
In order to better serve our communities, we will be adjusting our store hours. Please check our website for more information on your store’s updated hours.
Starting on Wednesday, March 18, all Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada will service customers who are 60 and older one hour before opening to the general public, under the new adjusted hours posted on the store’s web page. (example: if a store’s new hours are 9am-8pm, customers who are 60+ can shop starting at 8am.)
Starting on Thursday, March 19, all Whole Foods Market stores in the U.K. will service customers who are 70 and older one hour before opening to the general public, under the new adjusted hours posted on the store’s web page.
We are setting aside this time to help these customers, who national health authorities have identified as among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, feel more comfortable shopping our stores and helping to ensure they are able to get the items they need in a less crowded environment.
In addition, Whole Foods Market stores will close up to two hours early to give our Team Members more time to restock shelves, sanitize our stores and rest in preparation for the next day. During this time, stores will remain open for pickup (in stores that offer it), and we will continue to fulfill Prime delivery orders in an effort to meet unprecedented demand and ensure that people who need to remain at home can still get their groceries in a timely manner.
We appreciate your patience, understanding and support as we strive to support our communities however possible. The health and safety of our customers, Team Members and communities remains our top priority.
March 16, 2020
Efforts to support our Team Members:
As a grocer, we believe serving customers and the community during this time is essential. Today, Amazon announced that they are providing hourly employees with an additional $2 per hour through the end of April.
We are joining Amazon in this measure. Starting today, all part and full-time hourly Team Members at Whole Foods Market stores and facilities in the U.S. and Canada will receive an additional $2 per hour on top of their current hourly rate through the month of April. In the U.K., part-time and full-time Team Members in our stores and facilities will receive an additional 2£ per hour through the month of April.
Changes in our Stores:
Starting today, we’re implementing a number of temporary modifications to our prepared foods, restaurant and self-serve venues, including:
- Temporary closure of hot bars, salad bars, soup bars and self-serve pizza
- Seated restaurant venues & taprooms will close for in-store dining and will offer takeout only
- Indoor and outdoor café seating will be temporarily unavailable
- Self-serve offerings will be closed in additional departments, including antipasti & olive bars, acai machines and poke bowls
This process will be complete across stores in the U.S., Canada and U.K. by Wednesday, March 18th. All stores will continue to offer an expanded selection of pre-packaged items and full-service chef case offerings.
We will continue to provide updates on any additional changes and offerings will vary by store.
March 13, 2020
How Whole Foods Market is Responding to COVID-19
To our Whole Foods Market community and customers:
We want to make sure you know what to expect when visiting our stores in the coming weeks, as well as how we’re responding to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, both as a retailer and employer.
We know that Whole Foods Market is more than a grocery store to many of you – it’s a neighborhood hangout, a regular meeting spot, your favorite coffee bar – and most importantly, it’s a place to nourish yourself and your family. We have high standards for the products we sell and for the stores we sell them in, and we are committed to maintaining those standards during these challenging times.
To ensure the safety of our Team Members, customers and products we have a team of leaders from across Whole Foods Market evaluating the situation in real-time, consulting with outside health and food safety experts and monitoring updates in guidance from the CDC and local health departments.
Here are some of the ways we’ve evolved our business practices:
- We have implemented enhanced cleanliness and sanitation protocols across all stores and facilities, on top of our standard stringent protocols.
- We are temporarily suspending all food sampling and demos until further notice.
- Along with increased sanitation measures taking place on our food bars, we have a plan in place to modify operations as needed to ensure safety and to keep serving our customers the high quality offerings they expect. This includes modified menus, hours of operation and additional deep cleanings throughout the day.
- We have removed open access sample product testers from our beauty and body care departments.
- We have increased the location and number of hand sanitizer stations available for use by shoppers and Team Members, including for shopping carts and checkout.
- We are no longer allowing personal, reusable containers at our smoothie and coffee bars.
- We are working to expand capacity to service more Prime Members with free, two-hour grocery delivery and door drop service from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market in more than 2,000 cities and towns.
The health and wellness of our dedicated Team Members remains a top priority, and we’ve taken the following steps to support them during this time of uncertainty:
- All Team Members diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay.
- We have increased funds available through our Team Member Emergency Fund, which is available to all Team Members faced with an unforeseeable emergency or critical situation. Amazon has committed an additional $1.6M to support the fund.
- We have asked Team Members to cancel non-essential business travel (both domestic and international).
- We have increased sanitation and cleanliness protocols in meeting rooms, Team Member gathering spaces, and office workstations across all stores, offices, and facilities to promote a safe and healthy work environment.
As we anticipate a regular flow of new information and events, we are thoughtfully considering the role each individual store plays within the specific communities they serve.
Our 95,000+ Team Members in our stores, distribution facilities and offices are the heartbeat of our company. We are deeply appreciative of their continued dedication and hard work as we collectively navigate uncharted territory in order to continue to serve our customers and communities.