Walmart’s Dominance in US Retail Industry at Odds Following Announcement of Workers’ Layoffs, Relocations

By Madz Dizon

May 15, 2024 05:30 AM EDT

Walmart’s Dominance in US Retail Industry at Odds Following Workers’ Layoffs, Relocations
The Walmart company logo is displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on February 23, 2024 in New York City.
(Photo : Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Due to its immense scale, Walmart faces the challenge of generating an extra $26 billion in sales this year to achieve its annual growth target of approximately 4%.

According to Wall Street Journal, there are ongoing concerns about consumer confidence, with the company increasing spending in certain areas while reducing it in others.

Walmart Announces Layoffs, Relocations

In a recent development, Walmart has made the decision to reduce its corporate workforce and relocate the majority of remote employees to physical office spaces. 

During a recent call discussing business updates, employees were informed that they have until July 1 to decide whether to relocate or accept severance, as per an anonymous source familiar with the matter. According to a source, Walmart has plans to close its offices in Dallas, Atlanta, and Toronto later this year. 

Those who decide to depart from Walmart will receive a severance package equivalent to two weeks' pay for each year they have been employed at the company.

Reuters reported that Walmart is currently building a new headquarters in northwest Arkansas, a short distance from its previous site. The company intends to open the new headquarters in stages throughout 2025.

According to Walmart's website, the vast 350-acre campus has been carefully planned to house more than 15,000 employees in 12 different buildings. Walmart has engaged in conversations with the employees who have been directly impacted and is committed to collaborating with them on the way forward. 

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Walmart's Reign in Retail Industry Faces Challenges

Walmart has held the title of the nation's largest company by revenue for the past decade. Last year, the sales reached an impressive $648 billion, equivalent to over $1.2 million per minute.

Walmart gains significant leverage in its negotiations with product manufacturers and in its interactions with government officials regarding policy matters.

Although Amazon and Walmart are direct competitors, they have significant distinctions in their business models. Amazon's profit is derived primarily from its non-retail ventures, including cloud computing and advertising.

At the same time, the company continues to expand its presence in the retail market by offering fast shipping options.

Walmart primarily relies on its US  stores for the majority of its sales and profits. However, the company is also expanding its reach through side businesses such as advertising and digital sales. 

Last year, Amazon's total revenue reached $575 billion, marking a 12% increase from the previous year. In comparison, Walmart experienced a revenue growth of 6%.

A Walmart spokeswoman stated that the company is committed to being the best it can be, remaining true to its values, and providing quality, affordable products and services. 

Walmart has been actively exploring additional avenues for generating revenue. In a strategic move earlier this year, the company successfully acquired Vizio, a prominent television seller.

This acquisition was primarily aimed at bolstering its advertising business. In fiscal year 2023, Walmart's ad sales reached an impressive $3.4 billion, marking a significant 28% growth compared to the previous year. That's significantly lower compared to Amazon's impressive $11.8 billion in ad sales during the first quarter of 2024.

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