Whole Foods will pay about $800,000 in penalties and fees after an investigation found the grocery retailer was overcharging customers in California. State and local inspectors discovered that the chain overcharged customers, didn’t subtract the weight of containers and sold prepared foods by the item rather than by the pound. Whole Foods must pay penalties to various government entities and appoint pricing accuracy managers, and each of the 74 Whole Foods stores in California will face random audits.
The case was brought by the city attorneys from Santa Monica, Los Angeles and San Diego. Whole Foods said in a statement that it cooperated with the investigation and found that prices were accurate 98 percent of the time. The grocery retailer said it would improve internal procedures to reduce human error.