For the past decade or so Wal-Mart has seen mostly solid growth, expanding in both physical brick-and-mortar and virtual space. The company has even been able to withstand many of the other hardships that other companies have faced.
But it looks like even the world’s largest retailer is not impervious to these times and Wal-Mart Stores Inc has announced the start of corporate layoffs. This, of course, is in alignment with the company’s plans to gain more control of costs and improve overall efficiency.
Several sources have confirmed an initial round of cuts, on Friday, at the company’s home office, which is located in Bentonville, AK. The company has not confirmed, however, the exact number of layoffs or how many departments will be affected but there is speculation over an expected cut of approximately 1,000 corporate positions across the country by the end of Walmart’s fiscal year, which is January 31. Not every eliminated position will come directly out of the Bentonville home office.
In a statement, made Friday, Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Hitt explains, “Walmart is in a period of investment to better serve customers. To do that, we continue to find ways to operate more efficiently and effectively, true to our cost-conscious heritage. We’re getting great feedback from our customers about the changes underway and plan to be aggressive going forward to serve them even better.”
It is an interesting even to come only three days after the company announced a plan to add 10,000 jobs this year. Of course, economists remind that this kind of thing is not unusual for a company this size: to eliminate a few jobs in one department in order to add many more in another place.
Indeed, the company is making shift to “become a digital enterprise and be enabled by a greater degree of technology,” as explained by Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon. “From time to time, you’ll see the company eliminate positions in an effort to stay lean and fast.”
He also adds, “These are hard choices. We care about our friends and colleagues and will do our best to handle these transitions smoothly and always with respect.”