Wal-Mart to cut jobs at headquarters

World's largest retailer, citing 'unprecedented times,' says it will cut as many as 800 jobs across divisions.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Parija B. Kavilanz, CNNMoney.com senior writer

How effective do you think the Geithner plan to spur lending will be?
  • It's enough to do the job
  • It's a start, but more aid will be needed
  • It won't work

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Wal-Mart Stores announced Tuesday that it is eliminating as many as 800 positions at its headquarters in an effort to reduce costs.

Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), the world's largest retailer, said the cuts will affect about 700 to 800 jobs at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

Wal-Mart is the nation's largest private sector employer with more than 1.4 million employees in the United States.

"As the new fiscal year begins, we find ourselves living in unprecedented times," Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke wrote in a memo to employees.

The company said the layoffs "will not impact store and club operations."

The positions being eliminated are in merchandising, real estate, marketing and support divisions in its Wal-Mart U.S. division and in Sam's Club merchandising unit, according to the memo.

"While the number of associates that will be impacted by the restructuring is very small compared to the 2.2 million associates we have worldwide, I can assure you that we will treat them with care and dignity and help support them during their transition, consistent with our basic beliefs and respect for the individual," Duke said.

Additionally, Duke said Wal-Mart will create new management jobs as part of the company's overall expansion plan and plans to "add thousands of jobs in our stores and clubs this year."

Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said some of the positions are not being eliminated but relocated.

"Last year we moved some of our apparel team to New York in order to be closer to our suppliers and our design partners. This year we're moving our apparel buying team there to better align the staffing of our apparel business," Tovar said.

Tovar also said that Wal-Mart currently has no plans to eliminate store level jobs. "We still plan to open between 125 and 140 new stores for which we plan to hire thousands of new associates," he said. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
17 cool gadgets that tease the future Smart telescopes, surveillance for dogs, an electric roadster and more from CES 2018. More
These 12 airplane beds let you really sleep on a flight For the price of a premium class ticket, you may just get a space that's comfortable, private, and quiet enough to ensure a good rest. More
CES 2018 kicks off with oddball gadgets The biggest tech show of the year opened with a collection of quirky gadgets. More