Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, is reducing its personnel as many shops expect flat or declining sales. Inflation and a shift back to services are reducing sales of commodities, especially following a Covid pandemic-fueled spending boom.
A Walmart spokeswoman confirmed that the company was reducing employees at fulfillment centers. The company said in a statement that the cuts were made “to better prepare for future consumer needs.”
“This decision was not made lightly, and we are working closely with affected associates to help them understand what career opportunities may be available at other Walmart locations,” according to the statement.
Reuters was the first to report the news.
Hundreds of positions are being cut at five fulfillment sites in Pedricktown, New Jersey; Fort Worth, Texas; Chino, California; Davenport, Florida; and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, according to the corporation. It informed Reuters that it was cutting its employees due to the termination or reduction of evening and weekend shifts.
According to a notice filed with the state, around 200 workers will be affected at the southern New Jersey factory.
In the coming fiscal year, Walmart forecasts weaker sales growth and reduced earnings. Last month, the company stated that it expects same-store sales in the United States to climb between 2% and 2.5%, excluding gasoline. This compared to a 6.6% increase in the prior fiscal year.
For the fiscal year, the business forecasts adjusted profits per share to range between $5.90 and $6.05, excluding fuel. This is less than the previous fiscal year’s adjusted earnings per share of $6.29.
Internet sales have continued to rise, but at a slower rate than during the pandemic’s peak. Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce sales increased 12% in the most recent fiscal year, which ended Jan. 31. This compares to an 11% increase in fiscal 2022 and a 79% increase in fiscal 2021.