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Wal-Mart cuts 450 jobs at headquarters

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October 6
9:42 AM 2015

Earlier this week, hundreds of corporate and support jobs will be laid off at Wal-Mart Stores.   

The cuts come at time Wal-Mart is investing in billions to strengthen its e-commerce for better competition with Amazon.com and Target, giving hundreds of thousands of in-store workers raises. 

This is a part of improving customer service, refinement of smaller-store formats and opening new distribution centers for pushing e-commerce support including initiatives such as free drive-in pick-up at some stores for online grocery orders, as reported by Fortune.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told staff on Friday that the retailer will trim 450 jobs at its headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas in a bid to become an exceptional company that can quickly adapt to the consumers' switching shopping behavior.

"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," McMillon told about 18,600 employees at its headquarters on Friday in a memo obtained by Fortune.

The parent company Wal-Mart Stores cut its profit forecast in August and reported a 1.5% increase in U.S. comparable sales for the second fiscal quarter.  Its U.S. business is on the rise again, with shopper traffic increasing, although slightly.

A previous cutting of jobs in Bentonville was announced in 2010 when 300 were laid off.  The latest marks the biggest cuts since 2009 when the discounter laid off 800 employees as the U.S. surfaced from the recession, CBS News reported.

Wal-Mart's U.S. business is experiencing a major overhaul in response.  The retail company is trying to enhance its pricing and selection as well as improving its customer service.  It is also branching out the number of stores dedicated to fulfilling e-commerce orders and announced that it would hasten the expansion of its groceries deliveries.

Wal-Mart offered laid off employees with 60 days of pay with benefits, and employees will get severance pay equivalent to two weeks' pay for every year of service.  Laid off employees will also be offered of job search assistance.

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