Walmart Rumoured to Cut Jobs and Push for Return to Office

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Key Takeaways


  • Walmart cuts corporate jobs and mandates office returns, directing staff to relocate to major hubs.
  • Plans to automate 65% of stores by 2026 following U.S. technology hubs and store closures.
  • Reflects broader corporate trend enforcing office returns among major companies like Meta and Google.

The U.S. retail giant Walmart has recently decided to cut hundreds of corporate jobs and advocate for a return to office work. 

Wall Street Journal reported that the company’s restructuring efforts include pushing employees at smaller offices in Dallas, Atlanta, and Toronto to relocate to other central hubs, such as Walmart’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Hoboken or Southern California.

Despite these changes, the company will continue allowing staff to work remotely part-time, provided they spend most of their time in offices.

Walmart, known for its extensive workforce, has been implementing strategies to reduce its employee count over the past year. Available records from the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission show that as of January 31, 2024, Walmart had approximately 2.1 million associates. By the end of its fiscal year 2026, it expects about 65% of its stores to be serviced by automation.

In February 2023, Walmart closed three U.S. technology hubs and asked hundreds of workers to relocate to keep their jobs, pushing for more employees to report to work from the office.

Last week, Daily Mail reported the retailer would close two more stores, bringing the number of closures this year to eight. The company quietly reduced its U.S. store count by more than 100 locations between January and August last year.

This move is part of a trend known as “quiet firing,” a method used to push employees against the wall, forcing them to quit. It’s a subtle way to make roles less appealing, motivating workers to quit rather than slashing jobs only through layoffs.

Walmart is not alone in enforcing return-to-office mandates. Major companies across the U.S., including Meta, Google, IBM, and Salesforce, have implemented similar policies in the past year.

These Walmart moves highlight the ongoing shift in the corporate landscape. As companies grapple with the pandemic’s lasting effects, they reevaluate workforce strategies and office policies. It’s unclear how these decisions affect employees and the overall work environment.