Walmart slows down hiring while it ramps up automation
Walmart Inc. stated on Wednesday that it anticipates ongoing pressure from inflation on its company this year and that it plans to decrease the pace of hiring as it deploys more automation in the face of a tight labour market.
The largest retailer in the world announced on Tuesday that by the end of its fiscal year in 2026, around 65% of its stores should be automated. This announcement comes just days after the company revealed intentions to fire more than 2,000 workers from facilities that process online orders.
As the pandemic-related rise in cargo slows, ecommerce fulfillment centres are entering a new phase of recession.
More than 2,000 positions will be affected by Walmart Inc.’s job layoffs at five U.S. ecommerce fulfillment centers, according to regulatory filings, while impacted employees may find new roles at the company.
The state’s workforce commission announced the job losses on April 3, citing the loss of more than 1,000 employment at a warehouse in Fort Worth, Texas. The retail behemoth also plans to cut 400 positions in Florida, 200 in New Jersey, and nearly 600 at a fulfillment centre in Pennsylvania. In California, more cuts are planned. There are no news on Canadian job cuts, but Walmart announced at least a slowdown of new hiring as economy forecast doesn’t meet companies strategy.
Walmart Inc. stated on Wednesday that the business would be under pressure from inflation this year and that it would reduce recruiting while developing its automation technology.
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Grim forecast for years to come or just an economy fluctuation?
Latest news on McDonalds, Google, Windows, Amazon and many more laying off staff members could not impress investors and certainly not ordinary Canadians who rely on such jobs. Now, largest and one of the most profitable retailer in the US and Canada slowing down new hiring and laying off people doesn’t motivate anyone really.
Walmart employs around 1.6 million people in US, 100.000 people in Canada and another 60,000 overseas. The business claimed that the changes would lessen the demand for lower-paying positions. Ok, wait a minute. If economy is slowing down and people eat up a big chunk of profit, then a logical thing would be to restructure the company but why are lower paid positions not wanted any longer, aren’t lower paid positions less of a threat to annual income?
Well, that’s where the automation comes in!
It all started few years ago with self check outs. many of readers will remember that. How convenient, no more lineups, no more need to speak to people in person, just swipe, pay and go. And that came with a hefty price. As mentioned before, lower paid staff members are not needed as much as they used to. But, that was just the beginning. Costco for instance started to introduce the same strategy and so did pretty much all the grocery stores. Yet, this was just the first stage in automation. Metro stores and other grocery stores already opened up pilot projects where you don’t need to line up at the cash register nor you have to swipe your own groceries at the self check out! You simply put everything you want to purchase in your shopping cart and while you exit the store, the value of the products is instantly deducted from your banking account.
Automated check outs and pay as you go can be seen in almost every transaction we make and do. Have you visited airports recently? Many check in or ticket booths are automated, gas stations offer payment at the pump, McDonalds order booths are automated and so on.
Automation certainly doesn’t stop there. Have you tried recently to call Canada Post recently, or perhaps an other package delivery company, Amazon perhaps? Automation as far the ear and eye reaches. As Banks cry out for unmanageable economy, in the background something else is going on! You guessed it right. Automation! Banks are currently undergoing automation Renaissance. With help of AI and other fully automated software programs, daily banking is gradually being done by automation.
This most likely will be the biggest global Banking layoffs in history!
As specialists predict a mild economy fluctuation, many believe a wider and more apparent outcome to things.
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Walmart claimed that the impact of inflation on its business is still being felt as consumers choose lower-margin consumables over higher-margin fashion and home items.
That is true, but this is not the reason for automation, isn’t it?
According to Reuters, hundreds of employees at warehouses that process purchases from Walmart.com were laid off last month.
Automation will also assist the business in avoiding inventory build-up, which occurred last year as a result of consumers making less purchases overall due to sharp increases in food and petrol prices.
According to CEO Doug McMillon, automation will “bring us closer to inventory optimization than ever before.”