Whole Foods Has Closed Some Stores — Is It Going Out of Business?

Amid some recent stores closing, many customers want to know if Whole Foods is going out of business. Here's what we know about the company.

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Apr. 11 2023, Published 2:45 p.m. ET

Whole Foods has been closing some of its stores. Six Whole Foods stores have recently closed across the U.S. While most Americans aren't directly impacted the stores shutting down, are the closings a cautionary omen? There are still 500+ Whole Foods stores selling goods in the U.S. However, store closings in major cities such as Chicago may pose a threat to other locations.

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The news comes as a part of parent company Amazon's mission to revamp how goods are purchased. The shifting of times indicates that there's a greater indication for meals to be delivered to doorsteps instead of purchased physically in stores. Is Whole Foods going out of business? Here's what we know.

The business history of Whole Foods

Whole Foods is one of the largest market chains across the U.S. that specializes in organic and natural foods. Originally, Whole Foods Market launched in Austin, Texas, after John Mackey and Renee Lawson Hardy combined forces with Craig Weller and Mark Skiles. Together, the foursome merged SafeWay Health Food Store and Clarksville Natural Grocery. The health food supplier branched out throughout Texas and opened locations in Houston and Dallas shortly after establishing the flagship.

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Following its 1980s debut, Whole Foods Market became a national store by the 1990s, then made the international leap into Canada and the U.K. in the early 2000s. The organic food sold in Whole Foods stores has to meet a list of qualifications, and the chain abides by its forbidden ingredient list when adding new additions to its shelves. In 2008, the market brand took a step towards conservation through its litter reduction stance by eliminating plastic bags.

An announcement in May 2017 saod that Amazon would purchase Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion as a part of its brand overhaul. Amazon opened 60 new locations, including one location that was created for the purpose of fulfilling online orders. Autonomous shopping has been greatly integrated into the Whole Foods culture through Amazon One palm-scanning. Charges to Amazon accounts for food costs have taken over traditional payment methods, and Amazon has lowered food costs.

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Is Whole Foods going out of business?

While the organic goods and health store retailer hasn't publicly announced that they're going out of business, they've been gradually closing stores around the nation. In addition to the six stores which already closed, a San Francisco Whole Foods Market has ceased operations. Growing crime in the downtown San Francisco area was cited as a reason why the Bay Area location closed.

“We are closing our Trinity location only for the time being,” a Whole Foods spokesperson said in a statement. “If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location.” Per the Whole Foods Market representative, there's no intention to permanently close down the San Francisco storefront. Per CNN, the Trinity location is taking a break to "ensure the safety of its employees." Employees will be transferred.

Other than Whole Foods Market calling for their Mid-Market location to take a hiatus in response to the rising rate of crime in San Francisco, there hasn't been any word from the grocer when it comes to the overall company going out of business. So, as of right now, Whole Foods isn't going out of business.

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