Information For Current Vendors
Whether you are a new supplier to Whole Foods Market or just need a refresher on our processes, this page will answer some of the most frequently asked questions we hear. Got a question not covered? Reach out to your authorized Whole Foods Market buyer.
What is a Whole Foods Market Purchase Order?
A valid Purchase Order (PO) is a document generated by Whole Foods Market that corresponds to an order placed by an authorized Whole Foods Market buyer. Every order placed by Whole Foods Market must have a corresponding PO in order to be received. Each PO has a unique PO number, which must be referenced on all billing documents. The PO will reflect all items the buyer wishes to purchase. Only items on the purchase order are to be shipped by the supplier.
Which PO number do I reference?
Any PO number transmitted by a Whole Foods Market electronic system or provided verbally by an authorized Whole Foods Market buyer may be referenced on a supplier’s billing and/or shipping documentation.
Does this apply to me since I stock the product myself and don’t know what product will be needed until I arrive at the store?
Yes, purchase orders are required for Direct Store Delivery (DSD) orders. Purchase orders are created for DSD orders at the time of delivery by an authorized Whole Foods Market buyer. DSD suppliers should check in with the Store Receiver to facilitate PO creation and product admittance.
Can I substitute items?
Items must to be approved by the authorized Whole Foods Market buyer to ensure the item(s) can be added to the PO prior to delivery.
Can I accept call-in orders?
If your company regularly takes orders over the phone, you may continue to do so unless your company uses eInvoicing or PO Flip with Whole Foods Market. Be certain to ask for a PO number during each call to ensure that we are giving you all of the information needed for smooth delivery experience and accurate invoice payment. We offer a variety of options for sending orders electronically, all of which include our PO number. Electronic orders can also save your team time and money while increasing order accuracy. Learn more about electronic options.
Can I accept add-ons to existing orders?
As a rule, we expect new POs to be created for each ordering session, even if the order is placed on the same day. There is no other option if your company uses eInvoicing or PO Flip with Whole Foods Market, or if we transmit our orders to you electronically. It may be possible to add items to an existing order if your company accepts phone-in orders and uses other invoicing options, but the risk of the added-on item being refused at delivery is very high, so we really don’t recommend it.
Who do I contact about a refused delivery?
For more information, please contact the authorized Whole Foods Market buyer.
Who pays the freight costs if an order was refused?
All charges associated with a refused order are the responsibility of the supplier. The supplier may contact the Whole Foods Market buyer for further discussion.
What about partial refusals?
Global Whole Foods Market credit agreements may be in place for some Suppliers. However, credit terms may also be regionally based. Please contact email@example.com for more specific information.
Can I split a PO onto separate deliveries or invoices?
No, one PO equals one invoice. A separate invoice number requires a new PO.
How is free fill handled?
All orders need to have a valid PO when delivered to the stores.
Does my non-resale product require a PO?
All resale product, ingredients and packaging across the company need to be on a Purchase Order before it can be received in a store. Purchase Order requirements for supply items, that are not packaging, can vary by region so it is best to reach out to the region(s) you supply directly to see how best to partner with them.
What if the costs are wrong on the PO?
If the costs on the Whole Foods Market PO are not in alignment with the cost files sent to us through our Vendor Internet Portal (VIP), please submit a corrected file to VIP. All non-perishable suppliers are expected to submit an updated cost file once a month on or around the 28th of every month. Suppliers must provide at least 30 days lead time for all cost changes. The frequency of cost files and lead time requirement will vary for non-perishable suppliers. For assistance, or to sign up for VIP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How often must I update or verify my cost files in VIP?
All non-perishable suppliers are expected to submit an updated cost file once a month on or around the 28th of every month. Suppliers must provide at least 30 days lead time for all cost changes. The frequency of cost files, and lead time requirement will vary for non-perishable vendors. For assistance, or to sign up for VIP, email email@example.com.
Can I still negotiate special deals with stores or regions?
Yes. Regional promotions are negotiated with the Regional Purchase Coordinator or Buyer and should be submitted through the Vendor Internet Portal (VIP). Store-level deals will be reflected on the PO by the authorized Whole Foods Market buyer.
In what ways can I partner with Whole Foods Market electronically?
EInvoicing (Electronic Invoicing) and Electronic Ordering: Our receiving system allows us to match electronic invoices directly against our Purchase Orders. This speeds up the delivery and receiving processes as well as ensures timely payment is received. We are able to send and receive both EDI and XML orders and invoices. We also have a free PO Flip application available to create electronic invoices. If you are interested in partnering with us electronically please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer): Our accounts payable system allows us to send payments electronically to our vendors instead of processing paper checks. This ensures swift payment and easier reconciliation for our suppliers. If you are interested in partnering with us on electronic funds transfer please contact email@example.com.