The streak of layoffs at Amazon appears far from over. Following the displacement of thousands, the company is now reducing jobs in its Fresh Grocery stores as a part of its US restructuring plan.
On Thursday, the company confirmed its decision to eliminate "zone lead" roles in its grocery stores. This lower-level management position was responsible for overseeing associates and handling customer issues, among other responsibilities, reported The Associated Press.
Amazon did not reveal the exact number of employees who would be affected by the job cuts. However, The Washington Post had reported the previous night that hundreds of Fresh employees were expected to be let go.
“Like any retailer, we periodically assess our stores’ organizational needs and make decisions to increase efficiencies for our employees and deliver customer value. As a result, we’ve decided to evolve our in-store staffing and operations model to better serve our customers and teams,” Amazon spokesperson Jessica Martin said in a prepared statement.
The retailer stated that it would collaborate with impacted employees to assist them in finding new positions within the company. Additionally, employees who decide to leave Amazon will be provided with severance packages.
Amazon runs a total of 44 Fresh grocery stores across the United States, with a significant presence in California, Illinois, Virginia, and Washington state. In addition, the company operates over 20 cashier-free convenience stores in the US under the Amazon Go brand. Furthermore, Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017 for a hefty sum of $13.7 billion.
Amid increasing concerns about the economy over the past year, the company has been actively seeking to control costs across all aspects of its operations, including its grocery division.
At the beginning of this year, Amazon announced its intention to shut down certain Amazon Fresh and Go stores as part of a routine evaluation of its grocery portfolio. Subsequently, in April, Whole Foods implemented a restructuring plan that resulted in the elimination of several hundred jobs.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has highlighted groceries as a significant growth opportunity for the company. However, he also acknowledged the need to discover a successful "mass grocery format" that aligns with the company's goals and strategies.
Following other layoffs at Amazon, the grocery chain is now experiencing job cuts. Over the past year, approximately 27,000 employees have been affected by these various layoffs within the company.