Wal-Mart employs around 18,000 staff at its headquarters

Wal-Mart employs around 18,000 staff at its headquarters

US retail behemoth Wal-Mart Stores has cut around 450 jobs at its head office in Bentonville, Arkansas, in a bid to become more “nimble”.

In an announcement obtained by just-style that was sent to staff late last week, CEO and president Doug McMillon said the structural changes were “some of the toughest decisions to make”.

“Our customers are changing, retail is changing and we must change. We need to become a more agile company that can easily adapt to shifting customer demand. After months of evaluation, we’ve concluded there is an opportunity to better position our home office teams to move with speed and purpose.”

Wal-Mart employs around 18,000 staff at its headquarters. It is understood the cuts were made across all areas, from finance to global e-commerce.

McMillon added: “Taking care of them in this transition is a priority, and we are providing these associates access to services and resources that will help them find their next opportunity.

“This is an important time in our history – requiring all of us to think critically about our business and not be afraid to challenge the status quo. For the company, this in part means pulling back in some areas and investing in others.”

The move comes just a month after Wal-Mart cut its full-year earnings outlook after posting a 16.6% decline in second-quarter net profit due to currency fluctuations, lower US margins and investments in its customer experience.

Conlumino analyst Neil Saunders said at the time: "Wal-Mart has struggled to generate overall growth across its global operation. However, this masks a great many initiatives and developments which are now powering the domestic operation. At home, Wal-Mart is fighting back – arguably, something that should be a concern to many other retailers."

The cuts are the largest for the retailer since 2009 laid off 800 employees. A year later, around 300 jobs were eliminated.