Why Whole Foods Employees Almost Never Stop Shoplifters

In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods, making the previously overpriced but high-quality specialty grocery store more accessible to the masses. According to Forbes, this changed them for the better, offering Prime discounts and deliveries to Prime users. 

Whole Foods employees are also known to give out samples of absolutely anything in the store if you bring it to an employee help desk, as backed by Daily Break, which notes that according to an employee, "If there's a new apple that comes out, you can just ask someone in the produce section to cut you a slice, and then it actually turns into this fun communal thing because if you do that then other people will see it, and then you're hanging out with other customers."

But here's something you might be surprised to hear about Whole Foods. The grocery chain reportedly doesn't let employees stop shoplifters, i.e. they rarely stop them from leaving without paying. If that seems odd to you, you're not alone. Keep reading to learn more.

One Whole Foods employee was reportedly fired for stopping a shoplifter

Turns out, Whole Foods employees can not only not stop shoplifters, but they reportedly can even get fired if they try to do so. Mental Floss listed some facts you may not know about Whole Foods, and among them was the revelation that "no employees are allowed any physical contact with customers, and that extends to shoplifters." It seems it's a safety precaution and a smart one at that. The outlet highlighted a Free Republic story from 2007, in which "employee (and former Marine) John Schultz was fired after he chased and detained a shoplifter outside of a store in Ann Arbor, Michigan."

That's not to say that Whole Foods is lenient about shoplifting, though. Whole Foods reportedly has a "one-strike" rule about banning customers who shoplift, even if it's an accident. In 2010, one customer told Chicago magazine that she was permanently banned from the grocery chain after accidentally taking a bottle of vitamins without paying for them. (She later contacted Whole Foods' corporate office and was given permission to shop there again.)

Although Whole Foods employees may not physically stop shoplifters for safety reasons, they will certainly make sure you pay in the long run.