Wal-Mart Dismisses China Execs to Cut Costs

Features Reuters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it had dismissed several executives in China as part of an effort to lower costs in the country, where it has been grappling with slower sales and tough price competition.

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Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said several executives were let go to help "create a more efficient structure that positions our business competitively for the future."

Buchanan did not disclose further details, such as the number of people dismissed or their ranks.

Bloomberg reported earlier that about 30 senior executives, including directors and vice presidents from Wal-Mart China and Sam's Club China, had been dismissed.

Walmart reported a 0.8 percent fall in China sales during the quarter to Oct. 31, which it attributed to government austerity measures and deflation.

Wal-Mart has faced setbacks in China, including an embarrassing food safety scandal in which its popular "Five Spice" donkey meat was found to have traces of fox meat. It is building its own distribution centers to manage product quality.

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Last October Wal-Mart said it planned to open 110 facilities in China between 2014 and 2016, while closing some outlets as part of an overhaul of its business there. (reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by David Gregorio)