According to USA Today, automation in bookkeeping and cash-counting has rendered 7,000 positions redundant in Walmart's stores. While no lay-offs are planned, the retail giant will transition the workers to a customer-oriented role, complete with a possible pay-cut.
The back-office cuts to Wal-Mart’s 4,600 U.S. stores is a sign that retail workers—one of the largest employee cohorts in America—face big changes as their employers spend heavily to compete with Amazon.com Inc. and grab foot traffic from other chains.
The positions Wal-Mart is eliminating manage an individual store’s daily cash flow or process claims from manufacturers delivering goods directly to stores, among other tasks. Starting early next year, much of that work will be handled by a central office or new money-counting “cash recycler” machines in stores. Wal-Mart tested the change in about 500 stores earlier this year.
The company believes most displaced employees will find customer-facing roles, said Deisha Barnett, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. “We’ve seen many make smooth transitions during the pilot,” she said. Employees facing cuts could see their salaries go up or down in a new position, she said.
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