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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Addressing Weight and Pricing: A Message to Our Customers

A Message to Whole Foods Market Customers

As has been reported in the media, our New York City stores were audited by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) for weights-and-measures errors, such as those that cause improper price labeling on some of the products that are produced, packaged and labeled in our stores.

We want to provide our customers with the following information:

Unintentional errors

Any errors were unintentional, and any claim that we are “systematically overcharging” customers is completely inaccurate. The New York DCA found errors that were not in favor of customers as well as errors that were benefitting customers. Even errors in customers’ favor are considered a violation.

Hands-on approach

The reason for many of these inadvertent errors is because Whole Foods Market packs many of its fresh products in our stores instead of in factories or distribution centers. This involves team members handling, weighing and labeling containers of products, such as with cut produce and fresh squeezed juices. This is who we are and how we deliver the freshest products to customers, but this also means there will be some unintentional human errors.

Small percentage of errors

Our goal is always 100% accuracy. While some of our audits reflect 100% accuracy rates, in others, our scores have reflected errors in the weighing and price labeling of our products in a small percentage of instances.

Types of errors

Errors can include mislabeled content weights (both higher and lower), which could be a result of scales not being calibrated correctly, not deducting the proper amount for a container, or moisture loss in the product over time. Errors can also include pricing discrepancies such as a price change not being entered into the system or a sale sign that has not been taken down in time.

Steps we are taking

While inadvertent mistakes are inevitable, our goal is zero mistakes. We are improving our training regarding in-store packaging, weighing and labeling processes. Additionally, we have implemented a companywide third-party auditing process for all of our stores, and we will provide an update in the next 45 days so that customers can follow our progress.

Refund Policy

We apologize to our customers for any discrepancies that may have occurred. If customers think an item is priced incorrectly, we encourage them to ask the cashier to double check. If it is, and not in the customer’s favor, we will refund the full price and give you the item free. Our goal is 100 percent price accuracy.

Our number one priority is to ensure that our customers have a great experience every time they shop at Whole Foods Market. Falling short of a great experience is not acceptable to us, and we are committed to doing better.

We thank you for the trust that you have put in Whole Foods Market, and we will do everything we can to continue to earn that trust.

We would like to hear what you have to say and invite you to send your thoughts and questions to feedback@wholefoods.com