Walmart Plans Corporate Layoffs – Forbes
Walmart Thursday confirmed media reports that it is cutting the size of its corporate workforce, even as it bolsters the ranks of frontline “essential workers,” as the coronavirus pandemic persuades more consumers to cook at home.
A worker delivers groceries to a customer’s vehicle outside a Walmart Inc. store in Amsterdam, New … [+]
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The nation’s largest retailer has laid off hundreds of workers in departments including store planning, logistics, merchandising and real estate, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in a report the company confirmed by Forbes —and those cuts don’t count reorganization within its roughly 4,750 U.S. stores to consolidate divisions and eliminate some regional manager roles, the Bloomberg sources said.
The Bloomberg report did not give specific numbers of cuts, and a Walmart spokeswoman said only that the changes were part of Walmart’s bid to become “an omni-channel organization,” able to serve the customer as well online as in person; a letter from John Furner, Walmart U.S.A. president and chief executive said the company was “streamlining some roles so we can be more effective and efficient.”
The coronavirus pandemic, and attendant stay-at-home orders have treated grocers more kindly than other retailers, and in late April Walmart said it had hired 200,000 associates to work in stores, Sam’s Club locations and distribution and fulfillment centers since March 19.
By far the nation’s largest private sector employer, with 1.5 million U.S. workers, Walmart also said it has agreed to pay out $1.1 billion in cash bonuses to workers since the spring, when the coronavirus began its initial spread through the country.
But, despite a long-running “Fight for $15” campaign, and peer pressure from rival Target, Walmart has rebuffed calls to boost its hourly starting wage to $15 an hour, from the current $11, though the company says the average, full-time hourly wage in the U.S. is $14.26.
Walmart already has spent part of this year reorganizing the back shop, with CNBC reporting that in late February, the company merged its buyer teams on the store and online side to decrease conflicts over the pricing of products in-store and online.
Grocers were among the few retailers hiring this year as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses across the country. Research from Allianz SE forecast that U.S. retailers that sell food will see their best year since 2001, with sales up 7%, according to Bloomberg.
As of July 20, Walmart had launched 357 Covid-19 testing sites, and had tested more than 155,000 people across the country, according to the company’s website.