Amazon is planning a bloodbath at Whole Foods, according to a report.
The Seattle-based web giant, which announced Friday it will acquire the upscale grocer for $13.7 billion, will slash cashier positions as it automates jobs and cuts prices, according to Bloomberg.
The move is part of Amazon’s strategy for Whole Foods to sell to middle and lower income consumers, the report said, citing sources. The report added that Amazon wants to make the high -end grocer more competitive with Walmart and other mass-market retailers.
An Amazon spokesman denied that job cuts are in the works for Whole Foods.
Technology will replace the cashier jobs at Whole Foods, using sensor technology that’s being pioneered at the experimental Amazon Go store concept in Seattle, according to the report.
In February, a source told The Post, “Amazon will utilize technology to minimize labor” at new, machine-automated supermarkets that could operate with as few as three employees.
At Whole Foods, technology would enable people to pay using their smart phone, instead of seeing a cashier, or even using a kiosk, a source told Bloomberg. Amazon hopes that the move will help differentiate Whole Foods from other grocers.
Amazon’s surprise acquisition of Whole Foods comes at a time when Amazon has been inserting itself into the grocery market, and Whole Foods had been cutting prices.
Lately, Whole Foods has been battling its worst sales slump since its IPO in 1997, resulting in pressure this spring from activist hedge fund Jana Partners, which Whole Foods CEO John Mackey accused last week of being “greedy bastards.”
Amazon may also put some of its own private-label products into Whole Foods stores, replacing some of Whole Foods’ pricier products, according to Bloomberg.
Amazon’s stock was recently up 0.8 percent at $995.86 in mid-day trades.