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Walmart Lays Off 1,000 Warehouse Workers In Texas

The retail giant is cutting staff in five e-commerce fulfillment centers in the U.S.
Photo: Bruce VanLoon | Shutterstock

Even after a strong holiday season last year with an 8.3% sales increase, Walmart announced in February that it was preparing for a tough year ahead. Now, America’s number one largest private employer announced it’s laying off more than 2,000 warehouse workers throughout five states. 

According to CNN, the layoffs are happening at five fulfillment centers in the U.S. with more than half of the jobs cut in Texas, 600 in Pennsylvania, 400 in Florida, and 200 in New Jersey.  

The company’s decision follows previous staffing adjustments reported by Reuters in late March when Walmart let go about 200 workers from the same regions due to a reduction or elimination in evening and weekend shifts at affected e-commerce fulfillment centers.

"We recently adjusted staffing levels to better prepare for the future needs of customers," Walmart responded to Reuters’ request for comment at the time, adding that they gave workers 90 days to look for jobs at other facilities within the company. “This decision was not made lightly, and we’re working closely with affected associates to help them understand what career options may be available at other Walmart locations.”

Automation and the effect of the increasing inflation on consumers’ pockets might have also impacted the retailer’s decision to let go workforce. Walmart’s core consumer base is people with lower incomes, who have been hit the most by inflation and in turn, could impact sales. 

CNN reported that the growth in sales during the holiday season was led by grocery sales instead of traditional holiday products like toys and gifts. This could be a sign of consumers being more cautious in their spending. 

Additionally, on April 5, 2023, during Walmart’s annual investor meeting in Florida, CEO Doug McMillon announced the company plans to increase its investment in automation technology as part of its $15 billion capital expenditure plan.

However, at the investors' meeting, McMillon highlighted the company’s intention to retain workers in a tight labor market. “Retaining talent and establishing career opportunities for our associates remains a central objective for our growth ambitions,” said McMillon, but he added that while the number of associates will keep growing, it’ll do it “at a slower pace than in the past, as we complement people growth.”

As part of a staff retaining effort, Walmart announced it would increase its minimum wage from $12 to $14 an hour starting in March.