Walmart’s Latest Move is Bad Sign for the Economy
Walmart is set to lay off hundreds of workers at its e-commerce fulfillment centers — a move that could spell out more trouble for the already battered U.S. economy.
On Thursday, a Walmart spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that about 200 workers at one of its facilities in New Jersey would be laid off.
Additionally, the retail giant laid off hundreds of employees at four other sites: Fort Worth, Texas; Davenport, Florida; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and Chino, California.
“We recently adjusted staffing levels at our [fulfillment centers] in select markets to better prepare for the future needs of customers,” Walmart said in a statement.
“This decision was not made lightly, and we’re working closely with affected associates to help them understand what career options may be available at other Walmart locations.”
The cuts were made necessary at the facilities after the company reduced or eliminated night and weekend shifts, the spokesperson said. The laid off workers will receive 90 days of pay as Walmart attempts to find jobs for them at other facilities.
Walmart did not provide a comment on the exact number of employees laid off. The company is currently unsure how many workers will ultimately be laid-off or rehired, the spokesperson said.
The layoffs came after Walmart has made substantial investments in automation technology in order to streamline its online order fulfillment process.
Last month, during a post-earnings call, Walmart CEO Doug McMillion said he was “most excited about the automation opportunity we have.” The company is slated to up its investments in automation tech this year, as part of its $15 billion capital expenditure budget.
Walmart is the largest private employer in the U.S., with about 1.7 million employees across its 5,000 locations.