What Whole Foods Employees Wish You Knew About Making Amazon Returns

In today's busy (and unprecedented) world, when you need something in a flash, there's only one place to go — and that's Amazon. The digital mega marketplace is a hub for basically all things under the sun from kitchen and office supplies to furniture, décor, tech gadgets, and more. Whatever you might possibly need, there's a 99% chance Amazon has it and has it at a reduced price. Plus, they deliver almost all products, big or small, within 48 hours. With its fast ship rates, bargain prices, and product variety, it's no wonder why it's on the frontline of online consumer goods.

Over the last decade — specifically the last five years – Amazon has had to change and expand its resources in order to keep up with the company's exponential growth rate. The acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 was a big win for Amazon because, not only did it lead to an inflation of online Amazon Fresh orders, but it also helped launch Amazon Fresh stores in 2020 (via About Amazon). That same year, the online retailer and Kohl's struck up a deal that granted customers full accessibility to make in-store Amazon returns at the department store rather than through mail (per CNBC). In 2020, Amazon announced that customers will now also be able to make returns at Whole Foods locations (via Retail Info Systems News). While it may be a logical next step, it's come at a cost to both customers and employees.

Follow this advice

With Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017, and already seen in its successful partnership with Kohl's, it was only a matter of time before Amazon returns would become one of the services offered at the grocer. According to Retail Info Systems News, the service features a longer return policy and doesn't require customers to return items in new packaging or labeling. While it may seem like a brilliant concept, the rollout has received backlash from Whole Foods employees who say they are over-logged with more people in the store to tend to. However, it seems like a lot of the frustration can be resolved with one simple fix.

In one Reddit thread, an employee said, "Our stores did not get a say in adding this program. We were given no extra labor to accommodate demand, and with how short-staffed most stores are i can promise you that this is no one's priority. If the department is busy please don't be an a**hat if you have to wait 2-3 minutes for someone to return your five separate items. Also please be respectful to Whole Foods team members who are helping you against their will."

Whole Foods employees are also taking to another Reddit chain to share their tips for avoiding the influx of in-store foot traffic as well as how to make Amazon returns as seamless as possible. Several workers noted that the worst thing a customer can do when returning Amazon packages is not being prepared. Their wish? Have the item out and the QR code ready for scanning. One person explained that, in addition to aiding customers, restocking, cashiering, and handling Whole Foods returns, "Trying to juggle Amazon returns on top of everything else is super hard" — especially during peak busy hours. To make everyones' lives easier, it's recommended that you pull up or print out the Amazon order QR code prior to entering the grocery store. This helps keep the return line moving and is a win-win for everyone involved.