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Whole Foods Raising Worker Pay During Coronavirus Outbreak

By Rich Duprey - Mar 18, 2020 at 8:31AM

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The new pay policy matches the one implemented by Amazon and will continue through April.

Whole Foods said it was going to raise the pay of its hourly employees $2 per hour for the next month in response to the extra work they've put in to help meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

The move matches the actions of parent Amazon.com (AMZN 3.58%), which also raised the pay of its hourly employees by a similar amount. Whole Foods said in a statement: "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."

The policy applies to employees in the U.S. and Canada, while U.K. employees will receive an extra 2 British pounds per hour.

Whole Foods storefront

Image source: Whole Foods.

A quickly evolving situation

As the COVID-19 virus has spread, the organic grocer has updated a number of store policies. The changes Whole Foods has made include:

  • Opening its stores one hour earlier for customers age 60 or older (70 or older in the U.K.)
  • Closing stores two hours early to give employees time to restock shelves
  • Closing all hot bars, salad bars, soup bars, and self-serve pizza stations
  • Closing self-serve stations in other departments
  • Eliminating indoor and outdoor seating areas

Like other retailers, Whole Foods has been overwhelmed with consumer demand by the coronavirus pandemic. As it progresses, shopping should become less panicked, allowing it and other retailers to better serve its customers.

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