Wal-Mart is eliminating the role of zone manager

Wal-Mart is eliminating the role of zone manager

US retail giant Wal-Mart is simplifying its operational structure through the removal of a layer of in-store management.

As part of a suite of changes outlined in November, the retail group is eliminating the role of zone manager, Wal-Mart spokesperson Kory Lundberg said, transferring the duties to other managers.

"As we said at the time, Wal-Mart has represented a ladder of opportunity since we started the business and we want to make sure that’s the case going forward everywhere we operate, including here in the US," Lundberg said. "For months, we’ve been developing and testing some new ideas to reward associates for their service to our customers and create clearer pathways for associates to progress within the company."

As part of the restructuring, Wal-Mart will add more department managers to its stores to create what it says is "clearer ownership for associates of their areas".

Current zone managers will have the opportunity to either move into assistant manager, department manager or support manager positions, at the same pay or higher, the retailer said.

Some of these new positions will have a starting wage of $13/hour in July and $15/hour in February.

Once the current zone managers have had the opportunity to move into new roles, Lundberg said Wal-Mart will still need to add around 7,000 new department managers to its stores. "We expect many of the jobs will be filled through internal promotions," he added.

"Bottom line is, we think these changes will help make Wal-Mart a better place to work and a better place to shop."

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart set out some plans to improve sales and market share, including more competitive apparel prices, better assortments, and "systematic" sourcing – and said it welcomes the US arrival of Primark later this year.