Why Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) Removing 1500 Bookkeepers From 500 Stores

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is cutting hundreds of accounting and invoicing jobs at around 500 stores in the Western region of the United States. The move is part of the online retailer efforts to improve efficiency and spend more on store employees who interact with customers.

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Talking to CNBC, Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg the company is testing a new program to “make the stores easier to run and free up associates so that they can interact with customers more and serve them better.”

The decision will affect about two to three associates per store, Lundberg said, adding that the employees will get customer-facing roles.

Lundberg said that the online retailer plans to replace accounting offices with cash recycler machines for efficiency and accuracy. There will be a centralized team who will be responsible for handling invoicing.

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart Stores conducted a pilot program at 50 locations. There were encouraging results. The online retailer saw only 1% of affected employees chose to leave the company.

In June, at the 46th annual shareholders meeting, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon said that the company’s management, associates and shareholders should “reimagine retail again.” He added: “We have the opportunity to reimagine retail again.”

The retailer is looking to expand its online presence in a bid to compete with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). McMillon’s company is planning to focus on improving online shopping, fast delivery service, and user-friendly apps and website.

Wal-Mart is working to test drones to manage inventory at its warehouses.

The company’s Vice President Shekar Natarajan had said the flying machines could help catalog in as little as a day what now takes workers about a month.

In other news, last month, Dollar General bought 41 stores, which were formerly owned by the company’s rival Wal-Mart Stores. Dollar General plans to open around 900 more stores this year, with another 1,000 planned for 2017.

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