Walmart Focuses On Streamlining As It Plans Corporate Job Cuts


Walter Loeb, Senior Contributor, Forbes

Jul 31, 2020


Walmart is tightening its belt. Bloomberg reported yesterday that hundreds of workers in store planning, logistics, merchandising and real estate and other corporate departments will be laid off as the retailer looks to reduce expenses where it believes it can without hurting overall business results.


Walmart told Bloomberg, “We are continuing our journey to create an omni-channel organization within our Walmart U.S. business and we’re making some additional changes this week.” The company also said that its goal is to increase “innovation, speed, and productivity.” John Furner, president of Walmart U.S., in a letter said that the company was “streamlining some roles so we can be more effective and efficient.”


Walmart is in the midst of a multi-year streamlining effort to consolidate its store and online divisions. As a matter of fact, it has renamed its stores “business units” and will designate the Supercenters as three business units separate from one for the smaller Neighborhood Markets, which are the size of a traditional grocery store. Back-office associates’ jobs are now under a magnifying glass; buying functions will be consolidated and other back-office work will be reassigned.


Walmart has had excellent sales results during the pandemic as customers have regularly shopped in its stores for essentials and groceries. Same-store sales jumped 10% in the first quarter, and the average ticket increased 16% in that period. Online sales rose a whopping 74% at the same time. In order to service the increase in customer traffic during the pandemic environment, the company has hired 400,000 additional people. And as I commented recently, it has awarded frontline associates three rounds of bonuses that have totaled $1.1 billion.


Elimination of corporate positions...