These cuts come after two separate rounds of layoffs were announced by Wal-Mart in January, when 1,000 jobs were eliminated from the supply chain group at the retailer’s Arkansas headquarters, and another 200 e-commerce positions were cut from the company’s Silicon Valley office. It also comes barely a week after a trio of technology executives were elevated to new jobs in which they are being charged with driving the integration of online and in-store shopping experiences.
“As we said in January, to fuel our growth and our investments we have to manage our costs and our capital decisions with discipline,” Wal-Mart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said in an email to Retail Dive. “This means we will continue to find ways to operate more efficiently and effectively, true to our cost-conscious heritage. In order to achieve this, from time to time you’ll see the company eliminate positions in an effort to stay lean and fast. In some areas, we’ll invest in new positions but in other cases, we’ll operate more efficiently and work to change our processes and become more digital to change the work itself.”
Wal-Mart’s $3.3 billion acquisition of Jet.com has driven the retail giant to essentially tackle a massive integration of technology that serves customers externally, while it is moving the opposite direction internally, separating customer-focused technology efforts from internal IT and information systems obligations. This seems be getting done with an eye toward freeing externally-focused tech teams and projects perhaps from certain corporate structure and resource limitations.