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[1/23/17]  RetailDive Brief:

  • Wal-Mart Stores began a round of some 1,000 layoffs at its corporate headquarters, with most cuts targeting the retailer’s supply chain operations, The Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The cuts come amid other belt-tightening and executive shuffling initiatives in the service of bringing together Wal-Mart’s stores and online leadership roles as well as expanding its e-commerce operations in the wake of its $3.3 billion acquisition of e-retail startup of Jet.
  • Last week Wal-Mart touted the addition of some 10,000 retail jobs created through the opening of 59 new, expanded and relocated Wal-mart and Sam’s Club facilities as well as expanded e-commerce services. The company estimates 24,000 construction jobs will be supported through the opening of those facilities.

The shakeups, which have been expected, suggest that Wal-Mart is willing to undo much of the work in its existing e-commerce operations in favor of Jet’s signature pricing and fulfillment algorithms, which reward shoppers in real time with savings on items purchased and shipped together, in turn reducing supply chain and logistics costs — tech singled out by Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon as a decisive factor in the decision to acquire the startup.

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