Walmart reduces back office staff

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is cutting staff at the store level in an effort to redeploy associates, reduce some higher-paid hourly positions and centralize accounting procedures.

The move effects roughly 500 stores, mostly on the West Coast, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The cuts include positions that count cash or manage invoices for products shipped directly to stores. Most stores have three employees in this role, which will now be shifted to the retailer's Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters. Money will now be counted at each store by a machine.

The changes are not being made chainwide but are being piloted before determining wider implementation, according to Mark Ibbotson, exec-VP of central operations.

This is part of Walmart's ongoing effort to reduce costs and streamline procedures at its more than 4,600 locations. Earlier this month, the company showed off new mobile devices that are being given to store employees to better enable them to perform tasks and access data without leaving the floor.

For more:
- see this Wall Street Journal story (tiered subscription)

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