Walmart plans layoffs at its e-commerce fulfillment centers

The retailer said the cuts are necessary to “better prepare for the future needs of customers.”
Walmart fulfillment center
Walmart is laying off workers at some e-commerce fulfillment centers as consumer behaviors change, the retailer said. / Photo courtesy: Walmart

Walmart on Thursday confirmed it will be laying off workers at e-commerce fulfillment centers in “select markets” as it adapts to changing consumer behaviors.

The job cuts were first reported by Reuters, which said hundreds of workers at five Walmart fulfillment centers were being asked to find new jobs within the next 90 days.

The layoffs will affect about 200 Walmart employees at Pedricktown, New Jersey, Reuters reported, along with “hundreds of others” at fulfillment centers in Fort Worth, Texas; Chino, California; Davenport, Florida; and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“Customer expectations are changing, and we are moving quickly to meet and exceed their needs,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement to WGB. “As demand grows, we are maximizing our network of stores and fulfillment centers, to deliver items for online customers, when and how they want them.”

Walmart recently adjusted staffing levels at its fulfillment centers, the spokesperson said, to “better prepare for the future needs of customers.”

“This decision was not made lightly, and we’re working closely with affected associates to help them understand what career options may be available at other Walmart locations,” the spokesperson added.

Laid-off workers will be paid for 90 days and could potentially find jobs at other Walmart distribution centers or at Walmart’s stores, Reuters said.

In August, Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart dismissed hundreds of corporate employees in a major restructuring effort, according to media reports.

In October, Walmart said it would lay off nearly 1,458 workers at an e-commerce fulfillment center in Atlanta.

The tech industry has seen widespread layoffs in recent months, as shopper behaviors shift three years into the pandemic.

Amazon this week said it would cut another 9,000 jobs, on top of the 18,000 layoffs earlier this year. While the earlier layoffs hit Amazon's physical store divisions hard, the newest round will take place mainly in Amazon Web Services (AWS); People, Experience and Technology (PXT); Advertising; and Twitch, CEO Andy Jassy said in a letter to employees.

“This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term,” he said, adding that adding workers made sense in the early days of the pandemic but, now, “given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount.”



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