retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The International Business Times reports that Walmart-owned Asda Group, facing disappointing end-of-year holiday sales, has decided "to axe hundreds of jobs at its Leeds headquarters. The job cuts are expected to be across several departments and include redundancies of senior staff as well."

The company is characterizing the job cuts as being part of a "permanent structural change" that is "difficult but necessary."

The story notes that "Asda's job cuts come 18 months after it made an announcement to reduce its work force by about 1,360 employees, including back office positions. This was so as to focus more on e-commerce and to put more staff on its shop floors."

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Wal-Mart de Mexico "plans to sell its Suburbia clothing-store chain as it focuses on its core business of big-box stores ... The division accounted for 3.5% of Walmex’s total sales in 2014."
KC's View:
"Permanent structural change" seems to be the Walmart order of the day, from Arkansas to Mexico to the UK and beyond. The question, it seems to be, is whether this change is about cutting, or about disruption ... because they are not the same thing.