Walmart: The world’s largest store of medical equipment
Walmart’s stock has been on a tear since the company announced plans to shut down its headquarters in Arkansas in 2019, as a major health insurance overhaul in the U.S. kicks in.
Now the retail giant is laying off an estimated 2,500 employees, the majority of whom are in its stores.
The company says the move will save it $6.5 million a year.
It will also lead to fewer employees and a “safer and more efficient” operations environment, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement.
McMillon said the company will also hire an additional 100 people.
The move is the latest blow to the struggling retailer, which has seen its stock drop more than 40% this year and has seen revenues fall more than 35% in the last year.
In a recent earnings call, the company said it expects to see annual sales decline to $4.3 billion in 2019.
Walmart has faced criticism for its labor practices and its refusal to negotiate wage hikes for workers, which have resulted in a loss of thousands of jobs.
The retailer said in February that it had reduced overtime by up to half in 2019 and that it will begin hiring workers at the beginning of next year.
Wal-Mart said in its latest earnings report that it would continue to invest in technology, which is also helping it save money.
Walmart said it plans to hire at least 200 new employees in the first half of 2020, as part of a plan to spend $1.7 billion on hiring.