How Whole Foods Market UK is Responding to COVID-19

Whole Food’s Market COVID-19 Response

We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one. We care about our team members, customers and products, and we’re evaluating the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in real-time. We will continue to update here about the actions Whole Foods Market is taking.

How we are staying COVID secure

The UK Government has released guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19. We are happy to inform customers that we are complying with this guidance. Here are the steps we have taken to safer working:

  1. We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and shared the results with the people who work for us
  2. We have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance
  3. We have taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home
  4. We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace
  5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, we have done everything practical to manage transmission risk

How we are serving our customers

At Whole Foods Market stores, we're adjusting our hours of operation to better serve our communities.

As of Monday 15 June, our store hours will be changing to 8am-9pm Monday to Saturday. Customer who are 70+ years old, at high risk or with disabilities are able to shop between 7am and 8am on Wednesdays and Fridays, across all Whole Foods Market stores in London.

Our coffee bars are also now open across all stores.

How we are adjusting the operations in our stores

  • In addition to modifications to our prepared foods, self-serve and restaurant venues, we have implemented enhanced daily cleanliness and sanitation protocols across all stores and facilities, on top of our standard stringent protocols.

  • We are operating under social distancing guidelines in our stores and facilities, ensuring that interaction between team members and among team members and customers can happen at the recommended distance.

  • We have implemented crowd control measures that limit the capacity of customers based on store size and installed spacing guidelines for lines throughout the store, including outside of the store, at the register and in departments such as Meat and Seafood.

  • In order to serve all of our customers, we have limited shopping parties to one person.

  • We have installed plexiglass barriers to protect customers and team members and appointed dedicated team members to sanitisation measures.

  • We are closing stores up to two hours early to give our team members more time to restock shelves, sanitise our stores and rest in preparation for the next day.

  • All food and product sampling and demos have been suspended.

  • We have closed all hot bars, salad bars, soup bars and self-serve pizza counters.

  • Self-serve offerings are also closed in additional departments.

  • Seated restaurant venues are closed for in-store dining and will offer takeout only.

  • Indoor and outdoor café seating is temporarily unavailable.

  • We are no longer allowing personal, reusable containers at our counters.

  • In order to serve more customers, we have been limiting the purchase quantities of high-demand items.

How we are caring for our Team Members

Our team members are our top priority, and we’ve taken the following steps to support them during this time of uncertainty:

  • We have implemented enhanced daily cleanliness and sanitation protocols across all stores and facilities, on top of our standard stringent protocols.

  • We are operating under social distancing guidelines in our stores and facilities, ensuring that interaction among team members and between team members and customers can happen at a safe distance.

  • We have implemented crowd control measures that limit the capacity of customers based on store size and installed spacing guidelines for lines throughout the store, including outside of the store, at the register and in departments such as Meat and Seafood.

  • If they are unable or unwilling to work their scheduled shift, team members have unlimited call-outs during this time.

  • All team members placed into quarantine or diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive up to an additional two weeks of paid time off, as announced by our parent company, Amazon.

  • We have asked team members to cancel nonessential business travel (both domestic and international).

  • Team members who have jobs based in our regional offices and global headquarters are empowered to choose to work from home if they are able.

  • We are distributing face masks to team members across our stores at the beginning of each shift.

  • We have implemented daily temperature check screenings for team members in all stores and facilities.