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Walmart India lays off over 56 employees; may shut its largest warehouse


Walmart India, which runs cash-and-carry stores, has laid off about 56 (updated) employees including senior executives at its local headquarters in Gurugram in a bid to cut costs.

According to an ET report, the number of fired employees lies in the range of more than 100 people across sourcing, agri-business, and FMCG divisions.

The report outlines that the company’s change in focus from brick-and-mortar cash-and-carry business to e-commerce has triggered the layoffs. Instead of physical stores, Walmart intends to focus on online operations.

Another factor was the company’s realization to review its corporate structure and emphasis on efficiency. The global retail giant is also expected to shut down its largest warehouse in Mumbai and halt the expansion of physical stores.

At present, Walmart India owns and operates 27 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores and 3 Fulfillment Centres in 9 states across India.

Apart from this round of firing, Walmart is expected to let go of more employees by the end of the ongoing fiscal.

This development comes just weeks after hospitality startup OYO downsizing its team massively. According to several media reports, the company has laid-off several thousand people in the past couple of months.

Meanwhile, Paytm has let go of more than 500 staff members at mid and junior levels. Ola has also downsized its workforce by 20% impacting 1,000 people.

Amidst restructuring and revised focus, Walmart India has posted a marginal increase in turnover and a significant rise in losses in the financial year 2019. The wholesale unit of the company had posted revenue at Rs 4,065 crore while its losses mount around 89% to Rs 171.68 crore compared to last year.

Walmart statement:

“We are also looking for ways to operate more efficiently, which requires us to review our corporate structure to ensure that we are organized in the right way. As part of this review, we have let go 56 of our associates across levels at the corporate office.  All of the 56 impacted associates (8 in the senior management and 48 in the middle/ lower management) have been offered enhanced severance benefits and outplacement services to support their transition. A report appearing in the section of the Press speculating second round of layoffs in April is baseless and incorrect, ” said Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India

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