LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (TB&P) — Walmart is restructuring its U.S. business and hundreds of employees are being laid off, according to sources. Walmart said the downsizing is part of its ongoing efforts to streamline its business and move toward a retail model that includes many ways to reach consumers.
The company scaled up its e-commerce division in the past few years under Marc Lore, Walmart U.S. eCommerce CEO. But heavy losses in this segment and the renewed effort to streamline the business has prompted heavy job cuts with dozens of category specialists and analysts let go this week.
The layoffs don’t stop there. Talk Business & Politics has learned dozens of employees in the areas of fresh produce and meat supply chain, real estate, logistics and transportation, global people, human resources and customer experience teams were also impacted from the ongoing layoffs which began July 27. Walmart has not provided a job cut total but sources tell Talk Business & Politics it is several hundred jobs in Northwest Arkansas and in West Coast offices.
L Brands recently announced 850 corporate job cuts and Macy’s laid off 3,900 in recent weeks. Fossil said in June it was cutting 10% of its corporate workforce. Unlike these retailers, Walmart does not give exact numbers with corporate restructuring efforts.
“We are continuing on our journey to create an omni-channel organization within our Walmart U.S. business and we’re making some additional changes this week. Our customers want to have a seamless experience whether they’re shopping in our stores, using our app or shopping online at walmart.com. Our goal is to deliver that experience while increasing innovation, speed and productivity. We will share additional information after we’ve completed our communication with associates,” Walmart spokeswoman Jami Lamontagne told Talk Business & Politics on Thursday.
Compared to prior years, Walmart has been quiet about layoffs for most of 2020, but new management at Walmart U.S. did restructure earlier this year. In February, Walmart CEO John Furner restructured central operations with the departure of Mark Ibbotson. Also in February, Furner announced creation of a new product team to be led by Meng Chee. The department was to design technology products and customer and employee experiences with the end-user in mind. The Product.org division was also involved in the recent layoffs, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Walmart’s real estate division was hit hard with 250 layoffs that began July 29. This comes as the retail giant no longer builds as many stores. Between April 2019 and January 2020 Walmart added just three U.S. stores. Walmart now operates 4,756 U.S. stores.
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