Walmart is cutting jobs.
The news comes about a week after the big-box retailer cut its outlook for the second quarter as consumer spending slowed, particularly in discretionary categories like apparel.
The retailer will cut hundreds of positions at the company, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.
Jimmy Carter, a Walmart spokesperson, said in a statement that the company was updating its structure and “evolving certain roles to provide clarity and better position the company for a strong future.”
The spokesperson did not confirm how many jobs had been cut and which sectors were affected. However, he noted that Walmart was “investing more” in the e-commerce, technology, health and wellness, supply chain and advertising departments and creating new roles.
Over the past year, Walmart has set hiring goals targeting store employees and supply chain associates. In April, Walmart announced it would raise pay for its fleet of nearly 12,000 truck drivers and launch a new program to train new drivers. Walmart said at the time that truckers can now earn up to $110,000 in their first year with the company, with the ability to earn even more over time.
In March, the retailer said it planned to hire more than 50,000 workers to staff its stores, offices and supply chain facilities in the United States in the first quarter. And in November, Walmart said it was looking to hire 150,000 new associates in U.S. stores and 20,000 supply chain positions at more than 250 Walmart and Sam’s Club fulfillment centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices. .
Walmart said last week it expects second-quarter adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter and full year to decline about 8% to 9% and 11% to 13%, respectively. . Walmart expects comp sales for Walmart US, excluding fuel, to be around 6% for the second quarter as consumers buy more food.
According to Walmart, rising food prices have impacted customers’ ability to spend in other categories, leading to more markdowns to help eliminate excess inventory, particularly apparel. Consumer prices jumped 9.1% in June from a year ago, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1981. Food prices rose 10 .4%.
“Rising levels of food and fuel inflation are affecting how customers spend, and while we’ve made good progress eliminating hardline categories, apparel at Walmart US requires more markdown dollars,” Walmart CEO and Chairman Doug McMillon said in a statement. “We now expect more pressure on general commodities in the second half; however, we are encouraged by the start we are seeing on school supplies at Walmart US”
Walmart is expected to release its second quarter results on August 16.