retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Walmart announced yesterday that it will eliminate 700-800 jobs at its Walmart and Sam’s Club offices, cuts that represent roughly five percent of its workforce there.

"We will continue to take appropriate steps to further align our support structure with our business plans," Walmart CEO Mike Duke said in an internal memo. Duke has been in the CEO job for less than two weeks. The cuts reportedly are coming in the company’s marketing, merchandising and real estate departments, and are said to be appropriate to its plans to cut back on new store openings in the recessionary environment.

Walmart said in the announcement that has 2.2 million employees worldwide, and that still expects to hire thousands of workers for in-store positions during the coming year.

KC's View:
Remember the line from “Young Frankenstein” that Michael Sansolo quoted yesterday?

”Things could be worse.”

“How could they be worse?”

“It could be raining…”

Well, it’s raining.

In the national scheme of things, 700-800 jobs isn’t that many. But when Walmart – a company believed to be better positioned than almost any other to thrive in a tough economic climate – starts cutting jobs, you know it is going to be a long, tough year.

An umbrella, hip boots and a good waterproof coat would seem to be in order. And maybe an ark.