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Whole Foods

National chain of organic supermarkets.

Headquarters: 550 Bowie Street
Austin, TX 78703
Employees: 91,000
Co-CEOs: John Mackey and Walter Robb
Stock Symbol: WFM

Website: http://www.wholefoods.com

Career Site

Whole Foods is the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket. The chain has 431 stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

The average Whole Foods store has 38,000 square feet and is known for huge selections of fresh produce, meats, seafoods and prepared meals. The company focuses on selling the highest quality foods available with over 2,600 natural and organic products under the Whole Foods Market, 365 Everyday Value and Whole Catch brands.

The company's motto is: "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet." Shopping at Whole Foods isn't cheap and some have jokingly called the store "Whole Paycheck."

Whole Foods has 10 distribution centers. Other company subsidiaries include: Allegro Coffee Company; Pigeon Cove, a seafood processing facility; and Select Fish, the company's West Coast seafood processing facility.

The company has been named one of the Best Companies to Work For in America by Fortune magazine for 18 consecutive years.

Workers earned an average of $19.16 per hour which is higher than many other retail chains. Many workers also receive benefits and stock options. The company says 82% of employees are full-time.

In May, the company said it plans to open a new chain of stores called 365 targeting millennial shoppers and offering lower prices on organic foods. The company disclosed leases for 365 by Whole Foods Market locations in Bellevue, WA, Houston, Portland, Oregon, and Santa Monica, CA, and also announced that the first 365 store will be located in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

In fiscal 2015, Whole Foods reported record sales of $15.4 billion, up from $14.1 billion the previous year, and net income of $579 million. Average weekly sales per store were $715,000 in fiscal 2015.

The company opened 38 new stores in fiscal 2015 and has 30 new stores under development for fiscal 2016, including 2-3 relocations. The company expects to have 500 stores by fiscal 2017.

The company announced in September it will cut 1,500 jobs or 1.6% of the total workforce to invest in technology upgrades and lower prices in stores.


Whole Foods Market was founded in Austin, TX, when three local businessmen decided the natural foods industry was ready for a supermarket format. The company founders were John Mackey and Renee Lawson Hardy, owners of Safer Way Natural Foods, and Craig Weller and Mark Skiles, owners of Clarksville Natural Grocery. The original Whole Foods Market opened in 1980 with a staff of only 19 people. It was an immediate success. At the time, there were less than half a dozen natural food supermarkets in the United States.

The company would go public in 1992.

Whole Foods acquired Wild Oats, a chain of organic markets, for $565 million in August 2007. Wild Oats was the company's main competitor operating under four store names: Wild Oats Marketplace (nationwide), Henry's Farmers Market (Southern California), Sun Harvest (Texas), and Capers Community Market (British Columbia).

Whole Foods acquires seven Dominick's stores in the Chicago area in 2014.


Medical Care Benefits
Available after 400 Service Hours and passing of probationary period.
Whole Foods Market Enhanced PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) Plan

- Administered by United Health Care.
- No cost to Team Members, after reaching 800 service hours (cost for additional family coverage).
- Affordable/comprehensive medical and Rx coverage that includes an average 80/20 in-network option, a deductible, and a Personal Wellness Account (Health Reimbursement Account).
- Domestic Partner Coverage available.
Personal Wellness Account (Health Care Spending Account)
This account will help the costs of allowable health care expenses not covered under other plans, including deductibles, co-pays, and coverage limitations.
- Up to $1,800 annually, based upon years of service.
- Immediate access via a debit card.
Dental Plan
Caring for your teeth is an important part of good health. Whole Foods Market offers several options for dental coverage.
- Options include DMO, Basic, and Premium Plans.
Vision Plan
Routine eye exams, affordable eyeglasses, and contact lenses are another part of the health care picture. Whole Foods Market offers the Vision Service Plan (VSP) to make it easier for you to get the eye care you need.
- Affordable co-pay plan.

Saving for your future is an important part of being a Whole Foods Team member. All Team Members are eligible after 1000 service hours and one year of employment.
- Must be 21 and older to participate.
- Team members can defer a percentage of their gross compensation up to IRS limits.
- Company match to contributions.

Life Insurance
To prepare yourself to take care of those who would be left behind if something happens to you, Whole Foods Market offers different levels of Life Insurance coverage.
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance is automatically included if you choose life insurance.
Will replace a certain percentage of your basic weekly earnings in the event that you are unable to work, become injured, or disabled.
- Both short-term and long-term disability offered.

Pre-tax Reimbursement Account
Health Care Spending Account
With this account, you can contribute pre-tax funds from your paycheck to pay for anticipated, eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses.
- Available to Team Members and eligible family members.
- Immediate use of funds through a debit card.
Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA)
With this account, you can set aside pre-tax funds to pay for anticipated day care expenses incurred while you are at work

Whole Foods Discount
20% store discount:
For all purchases made at Whole Foods Market.
- Available on the first day of employment.
- Spouse/partner coverage after probationary period is met.

Pay Programs
Pay for Experience and Performance
- Beginning pay based upon related experience.
- Gainsharing, which averaged an extra .60 per hour last year for Team Members.
- Team Members are eligible for a Performance Review at 30-45 days, at 6 months of service, and annually thereafter.
- WFM targeted average annual pay increase has been averaging 5% for the past several years (1% higher than the national average).
- Wage structures and "Caps" are reviewed annually.

Paid Time Off
- Paid time off hours can be used for vacations, holidays, sick and personal days.
- Paid time off hours are earned after passing of a probationary period, and at specified intervals thereafter.
- Unused benefit hours can roll over year to year and never expire.

Direct Deposit
- Available from date of employment.
Credit Union
- FAA Eastern Region Federal Credit Union Membership is available to all Team Members and their families.
- Checking and Savings Accounts, Auto Loans, Home Mortgages, ATM & Credit Cards, and Web Banking.
- Lifetime membership.

Becoming a Whole Foods Market Stockholder
Stock Purchase Plan
- Full-time Team Members can buy stock through payroll deduction.
- Stock can be purchased at 85% of the market value in the restricted stock plan, 100% of the market value in the unrestricted stock plan, or both.
Incentive Stock Option Plan
- Team Members generally receive an option of 200 stock options for every 6,000 service hours worked.
- Annual Grants are also given to those that hold Team Leader positions.

Updated November 8, 2015