Walmart layoffs: Retailer cuts hundreds of corporate jobs, seeks return to office

Walmart layoffs: Retailer cuts hundreds of corporate jobs, seeks return to office


The nation’s largest employer and retailer, Walmart continues to open new stores and remodel others. However, hundreds of corporate workers have had their jobs cut this week.

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Walmart is cutting hundreds of corporate jobs and asking its remote workers to return to offices.

Changes in “some parts of our business … will result in a reduction of several hundred campus roles,” the company’s chief people officer Donna Morris said Tuesday in a memo to employees shared with USA TODAY.

Also, employees who currently work in Walmart’s smaller offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Toronto are being asked to relocate to the company’s bigger hubs, she said. “Most relocations will be to our Home Office in Bentonville, but some will be to our offices in the San Francisco Bay Area or Hoboken/New York,” Morris said in the memo.

Walmart will still allow staff to work remotely part-time, but will be expected to be in offices the majority of the time, according to The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported, which first reported the moves late Monday.

“We believe that being together, in person, makes us better and helps us to collaborate, innovate and move even faster,” Morris said. “We also believe it helps strengthen our culture as well as grow and develop our associates.”

Walmart laying off ‘several hundred’ corporate workers

While the number of jobs cut “are small in percentage, we are focused on supporting each of our associates affected by these changes,” Morris said in the memo. “We have had discussions with associates who were directly impacted by these decisions. We will work closely with them in the coming days and months to navigate the best path forward.”

Walmart has about 1.6 million U.S. employees and, like many other companies, has been pushing employees to return to the office, Business Insider reported.

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These actions come just days after Walmart, which entered the primary care business in 2019, said it planned to shut down its virtual health care service and close all 51 of its Walmart Health centers, because it was “not a sustainable business model.”

The timing of the corporate layoffs after the announced closing of health clinics suggest they may be “part of a restructuring that would allow Walmart to allocate additional resources to more profitable revenue streams, like advertising and fulfillment,” Blake Droesch, senior analyst covering retail and ecommerce at research firm eMarketer, told USA TODAY.

Walmart closing underperforming stores as part of strategy

The largest U.S. employer has made other moves to prioritize its corporate strategy including the closure of several underperforming stores, while opening new ones and remodeling some. Walmart acquired Vizio in February and cited the smart TV maker’s advertising-supported streaming video business as a potential profit making fit with its Walmart Connect advertising platform.

“Walmart has also been laser focused on creating alternative revenue streams that go beyond its retail business,” Droesch said.

“By reducing their corporate headcount, the retailer could allocate more resources to its store and warehouse staff,” he said. “These jobs are the true lifeblood of the retail business and Walmart has prioritized workforce retention in what has become an increasingly competitive labor market.”

Three months ago, Walmart said it would be remodeling hundreds of existing stores and opening more than 100 new stores over the next five years.

“We’re investing in remodels and supply chain automation to improve the customer experience and increase productivity. These things are going well,” CEO Doug McMillon told investment analysts in February during the company’s fourth quarter and fiscal year earnings call.

Walmart plans to remodel 928 stores and clubs across the world over the next year, including 650 in the U.S., he said.

Among the updates at about 120 Sam’s Clubs across the U.S. – and coming to nearly all of its 600 by the end of the year – is new artificial intelligence technology that checks to make sure its members have paid for the items in their shopping cart without making them wait for an employee to manually check their receipts.

Contributing: Emily DeLetter, Ahjané Forbes, Julia Gomez, Eric Lagatta and Medora Lee, USA TODAY.

Follow Mike Snider on X and Threads: @mikesnider & mikegsnider.

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