Walmart has announced that it will be cutting 300 jobs from its Arkansas-based headquarters. The retail giant's home office staff found out about the layoffs via a memo from Mike Duke, Walmart's President and CEO, circulated yesterday.
Though Duke notes that the layoffs will primarily affect corporate support staff, the company's recession strategy hints at tougher times for all.
"In line with our strategy, I've asked each of my direct reports to look across their span of control for opportunities to eliminate duplication, reduce costs, and shift work closer to the operating units, and therefore, closer to the customer.
"This was a difficult decision, but I believe that if we ask our operations to be leaner and more customer-focused, we must ask the same of our support teams at the Home Office," Duke said in his memo.
Well, we guess the Walmart smiley face must have been phased out for a reason. To soften the blow, Duke also reassures those let go that, "Everyone who will be leaving the company will be treated with care and respect and we will do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible," the executive consoled.
Hopefully a smooth transition in this case translates to less hypothetical hand-holding and more severance pay.
Walmart's numbers seem relatively moderate compared to the recent spate of layoffs. It could be far worse -- Saks has announced plans to let go of 1,100 employees.