Hundreds of employees at Walmart will soon be out a job, as the big box retailer is reportedly set to eliminate a number of positions around the country before the end of its fiscal year on Jan. 31.
The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, reports that the layoffs will likely take place at the retailer’s headquarters and in certain regional stores.
The bulk of the cuts are reportedly focused on the company’s human resources division.
Executives believe the positions could be more streamlined, with duties being taken over by outside consultants or other employees, the WSJ reports.
The unspecified number of cuts will account for a small percentage of the company’s staff in Bentonville, the sources say.
A spokesperson for Walmart tells Consumerist that the company has not made any announcements related to its 1.5 million associates at the corporate and store level.
“As we’ve previously shared, we are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and effectively,” Randy Hargrove, senior director of corporate communications tells Consumerist. “While we continually look at our corporate structure, we have not made any announcements. Like any organization, we make decisions based upon what’s best for our business and the customers we serve.”
While Walmart hasn’t confirmed the cuts as reported by the WSJ, the potential for them isn’t entirely surprising, as the company’s CEO Doug McMillon said in October that the company was working to “manage expenses better, which includes changing how we do work inside the company.”
“We must grow this company for Walmart to have a future, but we need to do it in an efficient way,” he said at the Annual Meeting with the Investment Community. “It’s not a growth at all cost mindset.”
The impending layoffs are just the latest for the big box retailer. The WSJ reports that the company laid off hundreds of workers at its headquarters in 2015, and cut about 7,000 back-of-the-office jobs in its stores in favor of automating some divisions.
Those cuts don’t count the employees who were let go when Walmart closed 154 stores around the country in Jan. 2016. While the stores only represented less than 1% of Walmart’s total retail footprint, some 10,000 workers were out of a job.