Wal-Mart Announces Layoffs at Corporate Headquarters
America’s largest retail giant, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, has announced that it is laying off a number of employees at its corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The retailer is cutting an undisclosed number of jobs as part of its restructuring efforts, although one source says that the number of affected employees could be in the dozens. The company has not publicly announced which departments will be hit with layoffs, although reports from within the company suggest that the merchandising and replenishing divisions will be among those affected.
The layoffs, are expected to help the company better position itself against its rivals. Wal-Mart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said that the company is optimizing its resources in order to achieve efficiencies in both its physical and digital business. “As we said in January, we’re continuing to look at how the company is structured, which includes investing in and adding jobs in some areas and eliminating some in a few others,” said Hargrove.
Wal-Mart has cut thousands of positions in the past few years. Around 1,000 positions were cut at the end of 2016. More than half of these layoffs were for positions at the company’s headquarters in Bentonville. In April of this year, another 300 positions were cut at the Bentonville offices, in the internal systems division.
The corporation has also been closing underperforming stores, primarily in its “Sam’s Club” chain, as the company increases its investments in e-commerce. As we said in January is striving to thwart the rising dominance of its biggest competitor in digital retail, Amazon.com, Inc..
The American retail industry is facing an Armageddon-like situation, in which retailers are fighting a battle for survival. An increasing number of American consumers are choosing to shop online and avoid physical stores. Declining foot traffic and slumping sales have forced many retailers to wind down their operations. This has caused hundreds of stores to close and thousands of retail workers to lose their jobs.
Amazon has emerged as the biggest threat to brick-and-mortar retailers. The e-commerce giant has directly challenged Wal-Mart in the brick-and-mortar retail sector by acquiring grocery chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. At the same time, Amazon is continuing to grow its stronghold in the e-commerce field.
“Wal-Mart has another bout of layoffs,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 28, 2017.