Despite the proclamations from The White House and its lackeys that this is the best jobs recovery ever and we are at full employment, it appears all is not well at the world's third largest employer.
We've discussed many times the fact that Walmart had been overly eager to boost everyone's wage in order to appease the living wage crowd, and as a result the company had to move forward with massive layoffs and store closings to try and mitigate the impact on profits. Earlier last year we also noted that Walmart is testing out drones that when operational, will be able to carry out what once were human tasks in its large distribution centers. This effort will further position the company to be able to shed more labor and benefit expense in the future. That said, Walmart isn't waiting for the drone initiative to come online.
After firing 7,000 in September, The Wall Street Journal reports, Wal-Mart is preparing another round of job cuts at its headquarters before the end of the month, according to people familiar with the situation.
The world’s biggest retailer plans to eliminate hundreds of jobs before the end of its fiscal year on Jan. 31, both at headquarters and regional personnel that supports stores, these people said. Many of the eliminations will affect Wal-Mart’s human resources department, a large team that some senior executives believe should be more efficient or whose duties could be handled by outside consultants, said these people. Other departments could be affected as well, say these people.
“We are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and effectively,” said Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Hitt. “While we continually look at our corporate structure, we have not made any announcements.”
Other retailers have recently moved to slash jobs and close stores as they battle sluggish sales and try to save money to invest in their e-commerce efforts. Last week, Macy’s Inc. said it would close stores, cutting 10,000 jobs and streamlining operations.
Wal-Mart closed more than 150 U.S. stores last January, then in October said new-store openings would slow, but hasn’t announced plans for another round of large-scale closures.
Shareholders also appear unimpressed...
So much for that minimum-wage PR-stunt, but at least the Walmart Greeter has returned...