Walmart has laid off 450 workers at its headquarters as the world's largest retailer attempts to become more nimble to compete with the likes of Amazon.com.
About 18,000 people work at the headquarters in Bentonville. The cuts were across all areas, from finance to global e-commerce. The company says the employees were spoken to individually early on Friday.
A spokesperson says employees will get 60 days' notice and two weeks of severance for every year of service.
Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO, said in a release that changing customers and retail patterns are the cause for the layoffs, and that the company is hoping to be more agile so they can meet customer demand.
The cuts follow months of rumors about job cuts at headquarters and they come a month and a half after Walmart cut its annual earnings outlook.
Here's the memo McMillon sent to Home Office associates:
Today we are announcing structure changes that will impact people we care about. As a leader, these are some of the toughest decisions to make. While difficult, I believe these changes will help us become a more nimble organization that serves customers better.
Our customers are changing, retail is changing and we must change. We need to become a more agile company that can easily adapt to shifting customer demand. After months of evaluation, we’ve concluded there is an opportunity to better position our Home Office teams to move with speed and purpose. This results in 450 associates being displaced today.
We are grateful for their service. Taking care of them in this transition is a priority, and we are providing these associates access to services and resources that will help them find their next opportunity.
This is an important time in our history – requiring all of us to think critically about our business and not be afraid to challenge the status quo. For the company, this in part means pulling back in some areas and investing in others.
Today you will be hearing from your leadership about the changes occurring in your area. Please engage your leaders and have the courage to ask questions. We must be transparent with each other so we can begin the process of moving forward.
As we move into the holidays, stay focused on serving our customers. I’m optimistic about our future and the work we will do together. Thank you for all you do every day for each other and our great company.
The Associated Press contributed to this report