Wal-Mart to Lay Off 300 at Bentonville Headquarters

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 11:22 am  

Job losses will be "primarily" at the corporate headquarters, the company said in a memo to employees on Wednesday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville will lay off 300 workers, "primarily" at its Bentonville headquarters, the company said in a memo to its employees (PDF) on Wednesday.

CEO Mike Duke said the cuts come primarily in corporate support areas.

The move comes as the world's largest retailer seeks to "eliminate duplication, reduce costs, and shift work closer to the operating units." The announcement also comes about a year after Wal-Mart cut more than 700 employees at its Bentonville and Rogers offices, another effort to increase operational efficiencies and cut costs.

"This was a difficult decision, but I believe that if we ask our operations to be leaner and more customer-focused, we must ask the same of our support teams at the Home Office," Duke told employees in a memo released to news organizations.

Duke said the latest layoffs are part of the retailer's three-part plan to seek efficiencies. The parts are "growth, leverage and returns."

"As you know, over the last month we’ve made a number of important changes at Sam’s Club, Walmart US and in Global Sourcing to ensure that this strategy is driving our structure," he said. "Each move has been designed to help us become more global, take advantage of our scale, and move our business even closer to the customer."

Earlier Wednesday, Arkansas Business news partner KFSM-TV, Channel 5, confirmed 60 layoffs in Wal-Mart's information systems divisions.

Last month, Wal-Mart said it would cut about 11,200 jobs at Sam's Club warehouses as it turned over the task of in-store product demonstrations to an outside marketing company. The cuts amounted to about 10 percent of workers in its Sam's Club stores.

Last February, layoffs at Wal-Mart's Bentonville and Rogers corporate offices affected merchandising, real estate, marketing and support divisions in Wal-Mart's U.S. division, as well as merchandising and corporate functions in its Sam's Club division.

Wal-Mart has about 2 million employees worldwide.



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