Walmart is eliminating hundreds of corporate jobs

Matthew Boyle

Walmart Inc. has eliminated hundreds of corporate positions, according to people familiar with the matter, as retailers around the country slim down at the back-office level.

The world’s biggest retailer has laid off hundreds of workers in its store planning, logistics and real estate units, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly. Some of those affected were told in person, while others learned their fate over a Zoom call.

The company declined to comment on the plans.

“We are continuing on our journey to create an omni-channel organization within our Walmart U.S. business and we’re making some additional changes this week,” a spokesperson said in an email, without clarifying. The company’s goal is to increase “innovation, speed and productivity. We will share additional information after we’ve completed our communication with associates.”

Retailers of all shapes and sizes have been trimming back-office workforces during the pandemic. L Brands Inc., the owner of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, said this week it will eliminate 850 office jobs, or about 15% of its corporate staff. Last month, Macy’s Inc. said it was eliminating 3,900 corporate and management jobs. Tailored Brands and Levi Strauss & Co. are cutting corporate positions, too.

But they’re all reeling during the pandemic, while Walmart – America’s go-to for groceries and other essentials – has seen sales surge. In May, Walmart reported coronavirus-related stockpiling led to a surge in quarterly sales, underscoring the company’s strong position amid widespread carnage in the U.S. retail sector. It next reports earnings on Aug. 18.