Did I read that right? Walmart’s cutting up to 800 jobs? That’s just “say it ain’t so” territory – especially after it sailed above the fray these last few months, letting others hog the headlines with job cuts and bankruptcy filings.
Departing ceo Lee Scott had famously said, “We’re perfectly positioned to ride out this economy.” And now this. Walmart explained the cuts as structural alignment “to increase operational efficiencies, support our strategic growth plans and help reduce our overall costs.”
But here’s an interesting part of all this. Walmart said it will eliminate some jobs from its real estate group because it’s building fewer new stores – but will likely add jobs to its store planning group because of all the renovations and upgrades on existing stores.
I’ve been preaching that for some time: The retailers who stay in business will have to improve or modernize or remodel their stores, and that means business for store planners, design firms, fixture manufacturers, visual merchandisers, lighting companies, graphics producers, etc.
As long as there’s a box on a shelf or a sweater on a rack and a shopper with a need, there’s work out there. Or am I oversimplifying?
Steve Kaufman, VMSD Editor