NEW YORK (AP) – Wal-Mart has laid off 450 workers at its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters as the world’s largest retailer attempts to become more nimble to compete with the likes of Amazon.com.
More than 18,000 people are employed at the Bentonville facility. The cuts were across all areas, from finance to global e-commerce. The company says that the employees were spoken to individually early on Friday.
The announcement follows months of rumors about headquarters cuts and arrived a month and a half after Wal-Mart trimmed its annual earnings outlook as profits fell.
A previous round of layoffs at Wal-Mart’s headquarters was announced in 2010 when the retailer eliminated 300 jobs, but the latest layoffs represent the largest cuts since 2009, when 800 employees were laid off in Bentonville.
“Our customers are changing. Retail is changing and we must change,” Wal-Mart’s CEO Doug McMillon wrote in a memo to employees Friday. “We need to become a more agile company that can easily adapt to shifting customer demand.”