Millennium Post

Walmart sacks 56 employees, including 8 top execs in India

New Delhi: World's largest retailer Walmart Inc on Monday said it has sacked 56 of its executives in India, including eight from senior management level, as it restructures its business in the country.

In a statement, Walmart India President and CEO Krish Iyer said the company "remains committed" to growing its wholesale retail business in India.

Most of the sacking was in Walmart's real estate division that is responsible for store expansion, implying the firm was facing challenges in expanding its wholesale business.

Walmart operates 28 wholesale stores in India, selling goods to small shopkeepers but not to retail consumers because of government rules aimed at protecting Kirana stores do not allow such sales.

"We are also looking for ways to operate more efficiently, which requires us to review our corporate structure to ensure that we are organized in the right way. As part of this review, we have let go of 56 of our associates across levels at the corporate office," Iyer said in the statement.

All of the 56 impacted associates, eight in the senior management and 48 in the middle as well as lower management, have been offered enhanced severance benefits and outplacement services to support their transition, he added.

He, however, denied reports of a second round of job cuts in April as part of an overall plan to shut down its physical presence in the country after struggling to return a profit.

The 56 executives laid off make up for 1 per cent of Walmart's overall workforce in India. The job cuts come amid rising competition. US e-commerce giant Amazon Inc has partnered with India's leading retailer, Future Retail Ltd (FRL) to expand in the country, while richest Indian Mukesh Ambani recently launched an online retailer Jio Mart, offering free home delivery for thousands of grocery products.

Iyer, however, ruled out a second round of layoffs, terming the speculation as baseless and incorrect.

He said the company remains committed to growing its B2B cash and carry business in India. Walmart opened six new best price modern wholesale stores, one fulfillment center, and the company's sales grew 22 per cent in 2019, he added.

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