Walmart cutting over 1,200 jobs as it streamlines US operations

Job cuts will affect employees in Arkansas, New Jersey

Walmart is planning to cut more than 1,200 jobs as it works to streamline its U.S. operations.

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The roughly 1,241 job cuts are slated to occur on Jan. 31 in Arkansas and New Jersey, Retail Dive reported, citing Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filings filed earlier this summer.

Approximately 494 of those cuts will take place in Bentonville, N.J., according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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WMTWALMART INC.146.33+1.42+0.98%

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"Back in July, we announced a re-organization of our Walmart U.S. business as we focus on becoming an omni-channel organization. As a part of taking those difficult steps, some office associates are affected if they are unable to find a different role with the company," company spokesperson Anne Hatfield told FOX Business, adding that employees were notified several months ago.

(Walmart)

The WARN Act requires companies to give employees at least 60 days advance notice prior to closing plants and issuing widespread layoffs.

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The company will pay associates through Jan. 31, 2021. Employees who take on a new role will receive one year of salary protection and their target bonus for the year, according to Walmart. If an associate does not take on a new role, they will "receive their target bonus for the year, transition benefits and severance, as eligible," according to the retailer.

Like its competitors, Walmart has been shifting operations to cater to the crush of online shoppers since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. In doing so, the company has increasingly leaned on services such as curbside pickup and "buy online, pick up in-store." The company also launched its subscription program, Walmart+, in an effort to steer more customers online and to its mobile app.

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Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told investors during a November earnings call that "changes in customer behavior have accelerated the shift to e-commerce and digital." In some cases, e-commerce and omnichannel trends have accelerated by "two to three years" McMillon said.

During the third quarter, e-commerce sales spiked 79% year-over-year.

However, this growth provided other job opportunities solely within the company's e-commerce fulfillment centers.

In November, the retailer announced it would be hiring more than 20,000 seasonal workers at e-commerce facilities to handle the continued surge in orders, especially during the busy holiday season.

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