Sam's Club, the membership-only warehouse retailer owned by Walmart (NYSE: WMT), is laying off about 2,300 employees to streamline management and trim expenses.
In total, 2 percent of the 116,000 Sam's Club employees in the U.S. will lose their jobs. About half of the job cuts will affect salaried assistant managers. In the fresh goods area, where previously there were six separate assistant managers, now three more senior and better-paid managers are to oversee a meat and deli block, a grocery and produce section and a bakery and cafe segment. The layoffs will also target hourly employees, such as sales associates and telephone attendants, at slow performing stores.
"Over the years, we've migrated to a top-heavy structure in our management," Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer told The Wall Street Journal. "What this does is align the number of assistant managers to the sales of the club and to where our growth areas are."
Employees who are terminated will continue to collect salaries for 60 days, during which they are encouraged to reapply for other jobs at the company. Sam's Club will offer severance packages to those unable to transfer to a new role.
Sam's Club, which operates 630 stores, is the latest major retailer to announce job cuts at the start of 2014. J.C. Penney said last week it will close 33 stores and slash 2,000 jobs, while Macy's recently announced that it would layoff 2,500 workers. Target is also terminating 475 employees and has eliminated 700 vacant positions over the last six months.
Sam's Club reported $56.4 billion in net sales at 620 stores last year, making up about 12 percent of Walmart's total sales. During its third quarter, which ended Oct. 25., Sam's Club pulled in $14.1 billion in sales.
-See this Wall Street Journal article
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