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Walmart lays off 56 employees in India; denies 2nd round of downsizing in April


New Delhi, Jan 13: Walmart India on Monday said it is letting go 56 of its employees, including eight from senior management level, as part of a restructuring exercise.

The company, which operates 28 cash-and-carry stores in the country, said it is looking at ways to operate more efficiently. "We are also looking for ways to operate more efficiently, which requires us to review our corporate structure to ensure that we are organized in the right way.

Walmart lays off 56 employees in India; denies 2nd round of downsizing in April

As part of this review, we have let go 56 of our associates across levels at the corporate office," Walmart India President & CEO Krish Iyer said in a statement. All of the 56 impacted associates, eight in the senior management and 48 in the middle as well as lower management, have been offered enhanced severance benefits and outplacement services to support their transition, he added.

Iyer, however, ruled out the second round of layoffs in April, terming the speculation as baseless and incorrect. He said the company remains committed to growing its B2B cash and carry business in India.

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Walmart opened six new best price modern wholesale stores, one fulfilment centre and the company's sales grew 22 per cent in 2019, he added.

"We have recently made significant investments to serve our members better and will continue to do so. This includes investments in our brick and mortar stores as well as e-commerce.

"Our members are increasingly becoming omnichannel shoppers. We are thus investing heavily in technology and have a healthy pipeline of best price stores. This will provide our members with a true omnichannel and convenient shopping experience in the future," Iyer noted.

Layoffs at Walmart's brick and mortar business began after it bought a majority stake in e-commerce retailer Flipkart in an around USD 16 billion deal in 2018.

Walmart, as per its strategy to strengthen presence in the Indian market and also compete for head-on with global rival Amazon, had announced a mega deal to pick up 77 per cent stake in Flipkart.

Walmart had started B2B e-commerce in July 2014 from its Lucknow and Hyderabad 'Best Price Store' and was later extended to other stores. It was among one of the first companies in India, which had adopted the omnichannel retail system by integrating online and offline formats here.

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