Wal-Mart Will Relocate 7,000 Back-Office Workers at U.S. Stores

  • World’s largest retailer takes step to boost efficiency
  • Company will automate tasks such as store accounting

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will relocate about 7,000 back-office workers as the world’s largest retail chain tries to make its stores more efficient.

The employees -- a handful at each of its 3,500 supercenters -- will be moved to other parts of the stores, according to Deisha Barnett, a spokeswoman for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company. The workers’ pay could go up or down, depending on what new job they take, she said.

Wal-Mart is taking the step as part of a push to streamline stores and put more employees on the sales floor, where they can help customers. The idea is to automate more of the back-office functions, rather than relying on dedicated accountants and other staff. The changes will start this year and extend into 2017, Barnett said.

The relocations affect less than 1 percent of Wal-Mart’s roughly 1.5 million U.S. employees. The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the move.

Shares of the company rose 0.8 percent to $72 as of 12 p.m. in New York. The stock was up 17 percent this year through Wednesday.

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