Hundreds of corporate jobs are being eliminated by Walmart as the retail giant moves to enhance its online presence and regain the low-cost pricing advantage it had in the retail sector in the United States. Through a spokesperson, Walmart confirmed the development.
“As we said in January, to fuel our growth and our investments we have to manage our costs and our capital decisions with discipline. This means we will continue to find ways to operate more efficiently and effectively,” said Randy Hargrove a spokesperson for Walmart.
Most of the job cuts will be carried out in Walmart’s technology group and its international business unit. Sam’s Club, the warehouse chain, will also be affected. Doug McMillon, the chief executive officer of Walmart, has revealed to analysts that the giant retailer’s efforts to fight off Amazon will mean recommitting the company to being a low-cost operator and this will result in layoffs.
Earlier in the year, approximately 1,000 corporate jobs were eliminated by Walmart and some of these positions were in the company’s ecommerce division. And since the beginning of last year, over 18,000 jobs have been eliminated either through reducing the number of employees at some stores or shutting stores entirely. Some jobs have also been eliminated at the company’s headquarters. But even as 18,000 employees were laid off, 11,000 were able to be rehired by Walmart though in different capacities.
The layoffs at Walmart come at a time when the retail giant’s renewed ecommerce push continues to gather pace. One of the latest strategies that the company is employing includes encouraging online shoppers to pick their items at the physical store by enticing them with a discount. The effort which will begin next Wednesday will see a discount being offered on about 10,000 items that are only available on Walmart’s website if the buyers collect the items in a physical store. Walmart plans to extend the service to over 1 million items in the next few weeks.
The discounts will depend on the category, cost and size of the product but is roughly meant to be equal to what the costs of the last-mile delivery would have amounted to. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, when it comes to filling online orders, last-mile delivery is the most expensive aspect.
The discounts will be offered using a technology that was developed by Jet.com which was founded by Marc Lore and acquired by Walmart last year. Lore is currently the president and chief executive officer of ecommerce at Walmart U.S.