Walmart filed a Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) with the state of North Carolina detailing the elimination of 569 finance and accounting jobs located in Charlotte. The WARN notice said the effective date is Sept. 13.
The news comes on the heels of Walmart expanding its partnership with Genpact, which began taking over the finance and accounting business for Walmart last fall.
Talk Business & Politics reached out to Genpact to see if any of the 569 workers would be retained by the New York-based company. Genpact said none of the workers in Charlotte will be retained, but the company is expanding its offices in Bentonville.
Walmart released the following statement regarding the WARN letter.
“This was a difficult decision that affects friends and associates we care about deeply. We appreciate their important contributions, and we’re committed to handling every transition over the next seven months smoothly and respectfully. We are maintaining a corporate presence in Charlotte. As our company continues evolving, we’ve said we must strike the right balance between managing the needs of our business, our associates and our customers.”
Walmart corporate spokeswoman Robyn Babbitt said Walmart will continue to have a significant number of employees in the Charlotte market, which include technology jobs as well as regional offices, to serve 216 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the Charlotte metro area. After the downsizing, Walmart will still employ more than 56,000 workers in North Carolina.
Walmart’s partnership with Genpact is part of the retail giant’s efforts to accelerate its digital transformation and improve the quality and value of its services while also unlocking the potential savings for reinvestment in growth and innovation, the company noted.
Employees impacted from the North Carolina downsizing were told last week and the timeline for winding down operations will begin in September and run into January 2020 ahead of the company’s fiscal year-end.
Walmart said employees that stay through their retention date will receive a special retention payment. During the next few months, workers are also encouraged to apply for open jobs within the company. Walmart will also hold outplacement services and career fairs to help displaced workers find jobs in the Charlotte market. If the employees do not find other employment with Walmart, those who qualify will begin receiving severance pay at the end of their transition period.
The move to downsize back-office jobs is not new. Walmart has been streamlining its home office and support jobs for the past several years. Virtually every segment within the retail enterprise has been downsized to some extent, even the e-commerce division that continues to see considerable investments in capital expenditures.
The C-suite has also cut back on staff, as Walmart U.S. has never replaced the chief operations officer position vacated by Judith McKenna more than 18 months ago. Also, Walmart recently announced the CEO of Jet.com will be leaving the company as the Jet.com leadership will be folded into Walmart.com in the coming months.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has said the company will continue to look for ways to reduce spending across the company. He said there are no cash registers in the home office.
Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran has said as more technology is deployed throughout the company and in stores, the workforce balance will shift a bit. He said Walmart is continually looking at its workforce and will continue to add when needed and subtract when necessary.