US: Walmart Cutting 7,000 Back Office Store Jobs

Walmart has announced that it is planning to cut 7,000 back office and accounting jobs across its stores in the US.

The move comes as part of a plan to centralise its invoice and accounting departments to improve efficiency in the business, whilst getting more staff on the shop floor to assist its customers in the face of increased competition from traditional and online competitors. The retailer began trialing the new accounting system in 500 stores earlier this year.

Affected staff will be offered the opportunity to move to customer facing roles. A spokesperson for Walmart commented: “This is about simplifying how stores work, there are a number of initiatives that are designed to get more associates in front of our customers.”

The transitioning process is expected to extend into 2017.

NAM Implications:
  • To place this number in context, Walmart employ 1.4m people in the US (1% of the country’s working population!)
  • More important is the shift in emphasis to shopper-facing roles.
  • Scope for suppliers to propose initiatives that optimise the shop-floor staff-shopper relationship?