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Walmart to lay off, relocate hundreds to corporate workers

By Ehren Wynder
A view of the Walmart Marketplace sign on display during the 2023 SEMA Show, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The company on Tuesday announced it will ask many remote employees to relocate to Bentonville, Ark., where it is building a nearly 350-acre corporate campus, complete with 12 office buildings, fitness center, daycare and other amenities. File Photo by James Atoa/UPI
A view of the Walmart Marketplace sign on display during the 2023 SEMA Show, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The company on Tuesday announced it will ask many remote employees to relocate to Bentonville, Ark., where it is building a nearly 350-acre corporate campus, complete with 12 office buildings, fitness center, daycare and other amenities. File Photo by James Atoa/UPI | License Photo

May 14 (UPI) -- Walmart said Tuesday it will layoff hundreds of corporate employees and relocate many others to its Arkansas headquarters.

In a memo sent to employees Tuesday, Chief People Officer Donna Morris said the decision was made to bring more remote workers back into the office since the COVID pandemic.

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"We believe that being together, in person, makes us better and helps us to collaborate, innovate and move even faster," Morris said. "We also believe it helps strengthen our culture as well as grow and develop our associates."

The big-box retail chain is asking the majority of employees working remotely and at offices in in Dallas, Atlanta and Toronto to relocate to its corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

Some will have the option to relocate to offices in Hoboken, N.J., or the San Francisco Bay Area.

The company will allow corporate employees to work part-time remotely as long as they are in office for the majority of the work week.

"In addition, some parts of our business have made changes that will result in a reduction of several hundred campus roles," Morris said in the memo. "While the overall numbers are small in percentage, we are focused on supporting each of our associates affected by these changes."

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Walmart officials said they already have spoken with affected employees and will "work closely with them in the coming days and months to navigate the best path forward." The company did not specify how many employees were affected.

In another cost-cutting measure, Walmart last month said it decided to shutter all 51 Walmart Health clinics in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Texas.

The clinics, which offered doctor, dentist and therapy appointments, were part of a broad effort by Walmart in 2019 to offer a low-cost alternative in the health care industry, but the company decided to shutter the business after determining it was not financially sustainable.

Walmart's 4,600 pharmacies and over 3,000 vision centers will remain open.

Walmart said workers affected by the health center closures will be able to transfer to any other Walmart or Sam's Club store. Employees will be paid for 90 days unless they transfer to another store or leave the company.

While Walmart has made several operational cuts, it is investing in a nearly 350-acre corporate campus in Bentonville, which will includes 12 office buildings, a hotel, fitness center and daycare once complete.

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