Amazon.com to close Whole Foods Market in Tarzana

One of six across U.S. earmarked for shutdown in wake of company’s $4B Q1 loss

Los Angeles /
May.May 05, 2022 09:30 AM
Whole Foods' John Mackey with 18700 Ventura Boulevard (Getty, Google Maps)
Whole Foods’ John Mackey with 18700 Ventura Boulevard (Getty, Google Maps)

The Whole Foods store in the Tarzana district of the San Fernando Valley will be shuttered by Amazon.com in the wake of its $3.8-billion first-quarter loss.
The Seattle-based ecommerce firm said it’s closing six Whole Foods Market locations in four states — including the store at 18700 Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana, which opened in 2010, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

The closures come almost two months after Amazon shut dozens of bookstores and gift shops around the country.

Amazon, which has more than 500 stores nationwide, also will close Whole Foods markets in Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama; Brookline, Massachusetts; and the Englewood and DePaul neighborhoods of Chicago by May 6. The Englewood store will close soon.

“As we continue to position Whole Foods Market for long-term success, we regularly evaluate the performance and growth potential of each of our stores, and we have made the difficult decision to close six stores,” a Whole Foods spokeswoman said in an email. “We are supporting impacted Team Members through this transition and expect that all interested, eligible Team Members will find positions at our other locations.”

The 54,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market property is owned by an affiliate of Pine Tree, an Illinois-based commercial real estate investment firm, which bought the Village Walk shopping center in 2018. The 149,000-square-foot shopping center includes a TJMax, LA Fitness and other stores.

Not far away from the Tarzana site, the store at 21347 Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills was not on the closure list. Not far from the San Fernando Valley’s Whole Foods sites, the first Amazon Fresh opened in Woodland Hills, in the Warner Center area, in 2020.

In the San Fernando Valley, Whole Foods markets also operate three sites in Sherman Oaks, one in Porter Ranch, as well as nearby stores in Burbank and Glendale, according to the company website. The chain owns more than two dozen sites in Southern California.

Meanwhile, Amazon Fresh opened two more stores in April, with another coming in May, to bring its total of Southern California stories to 14.

Amazon blamed its unexpected first-quarter loss and bleak outlook for the current period on excess warehouse space and employees, while online sales dropped 3 percent. Following its announcement, shares plunged 14 percent, the biggest one-day dive since July 2006.

Revenue from physical stores, mostly Whole Foods, was one of the few bright spots from Amazon’s quarterly results, with sales of $4.59 billion, up 17 percent from a year earlier.

In March, Amazon announced it would shutter its physical bookstores, “Amazon 4-Star” locations and mall pop-up kiosks to narrow its brick-and-mortar efforts to the grocery sector. The company made its biggest move into physical retail in 2017 with the $13 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

Since then, the company has also launched its own Amazon Fresh supermarkets and now has more than 20 locations in California, Illinois and the mid-Atlantic region.

[Los Angeles Daily News] – Dana Bartholomew





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