(UnitedVoice.com) – As the economic outlook in the country remains uncertain, companies are restructuring to prepare for a possible downturn. McDonald’s recently laid off hundreds of workers and cut the pay of other employees. The tech industry has been shedding jobs left and right. Not even the biggest retailer in the world is safe from the troubles.
Walmart recently announced the closings of multiple stores. That came weeks after the company restructured other locations as well.
On April 11, Walmart announced it was closing four of its stores in Chicago. The company explained that it did not make the decision lightly. Also, the statement said that officials within Walmart were aware that people would be hurt by the closing of the stores because many of them lived and worked in the same communities.
Although the retailer was sad to see the stores go, it does have a plan for the employees. All of the associates who worked in the stores that are closing will be eligible to transfer to another location. Managers from those stores would be visiting the impacted locations throughout the week to help workers find new jobs.
Naturally, since the closures are happening in Chicago, some people wondered if they were related to the high crime in the Windy City. However, the statement from Walmart threw cold water on that theory. According to the company, the affected stores just weren’t performing well.
The statement said the “simplest explanation” for the closures was that their “Chicago stores have not been profitable” since they opened the first one almost 17 years ago. Collectively, they lose “tens of millions” annually, and the losses almost doubled over the last five years. It’s simply not sustainable.
Other Walmart Changes
The news about the store closures follows another update from the company at the beginning of April about the layoffs of about 2,000 workers. The people impacted by those changes worked at five of the company’s e-commerce fulfillment centers. The layoffs impact Fort Worth, Texas; Davenport, Florida; Pedricktown, New Jersey; Chino, California; and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
According to a statement from Walmart, reported by CNN, the company was adjusting “staffing levels at [its] fulfillment centers” in order to “prepare for the future needs of customers.” Just like with the store closures, the retail giant said some of the affected workers would have the opportunity to move to other locations.
Walmart CFO John Rainey previously told CNBC the company is being “cautious” about the rest of the year’s outlook because “consumer[s] [are] still very pressured.”
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