Whole Foods Agrees to $800,000 Settlement in California Pricing Violations

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Whole Foods Markets has agreed to pay an $800,000 settlement with the city attorneys of Los Angeles, Santa Monica and San Diego after a statewide investigation found the grocery chain was committing pricing violations across the state of California.

"We're taking action to assure consumers get what they pay for," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said. Among the violations Whole Foods had been accused of accruing were the failure to deduct the weight of containers when charging customers for self-serve food at the salad and hot bars, giving less weight than stated on the label for packaged items sold by the pound, and selling items by piece instead of the pound, as the law requires.

As part of the agreement, Whole Foods will appoint a pair of state coordinators to oversee pricing accuracy at all 74 of their California stores, designate an employee at each store to assure pricing accuracy, conduct random audits four times per year at each store and charge accurate prices and provide accurate weight on all items.

The company will pay $798,394 in penalties, of which $100,000 will be paid to a statewide consumer protection trust fund and $68,394 will cover investigative costs.


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