Amazon Denies Any Job Cuts Planned

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 ( - Inc.	( AMZN ) expects to reduce headcount and 

change inventory to lower prices and make Whole Foods Market Inc ( WFM ) competitive with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other big-box retailers, Bloomberg reported citing a person familiar with the matter. That included potentially using technology to eliminate cashiers. An Amazon spokesman reportedly denied any job cuts were planned.

When Inc. completes its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc., Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will try to keep the grocer's reputation for premium fresh foods while cutting prices to shed its "Whole Paycheck" image.

Amazon is considering extending the cost-cutting effort with the no-checkout technology it's developing at its Seattle convenience store, "AmazonGo". The technology lets people pay with smartphones without seeing a cashier or going to a checkout kiosk, which would help Amazon differentiate itself in the brick-and-mortar setting and reduce labor costs at Whole Foods stores. The employees remaining would help improve the shopping experience, the report said.

Drew Herdener, an Amazon spokesman, reportedly said the company has "no plans to use no-checkout technology to automate the jobs of cashiers at Whole Foods and no job reductions are planned."

Amazon would also look to change Whole Foods' inventory, introducing its own private-label products to replace items deemed too expensive to have mass appeal.

On Friday, Amazon said it agreed to buy grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.4 billion, as the online retailing giant aims to dominate supermarket industry as well.

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This article appears in: World Markets , Stocks , Technology
Referenced Symbols: AMZN , WFM , WFMI , WMT

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