Walmart to Streamline Divisions to Improve Speed
Walmart is updating its U.S. operations to better reflect today’s business.
The big-box retailer is consolidating from six business units to four and from 44 regional managers to 36.
Sources close to the matter say the current restructuring will look similar to the operating structure the company had three years ago, according to Reuters.
“The structure we are putting in place will help improve communication and execution, streamline decision-making and help us accelerate our pace of change,” according to a company statement.
This latest development, is just the retailer’s most recent attempt to become more competitive. In February, the company updated its buying policy, allowing brick-and-mortar buyers to also approve items for the company’s site. The change removed redundancies for suppliers that sold both stores and online.
Walmart is just one in a string of retailers looking for ways to speed things up. Last week, Macy’s addressed its new merchandising strategy, which resulted in the consolidation of three departments. The changes there were influenced by the company’s ability to trim development cycles down to as little as 8 weeks for its core private label brand. Macy’s took the model it had developed for INC and extended across the whole company.
Retailers have been focused on speed as a way of delivering freshness to stores more often and an avenue to supplying the right product at the right times.
In April, Walmart laid off several hundred corporate employees to cut costs and funnel funds into its locations and online operations. This followed nearly 1,000 job cuts in January in Bentonville, Arkansas and California.
Despite these layoffs, the company plans to add more than 30,000 jobs this year, including e-commerce and retail positions.