BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is rolling out a new consolidation plan, putting in place a structure that improves communication and execution, streamlines decision making and accelerates the pace of change at the nation’s largest retailer.
The new hierarchy will consolidate Walmart’s U.S. business to four divisions from six, each managed by a senior vice president reporting to executive vice president Mike Moore. The number of U.S. regions also will be pared to 36 from 44. Walmart has more than 9,500 U.S. stores.
The latest restructuring follows three rounds of job cuts at Walmart’s headquarters and a reorganization of its merchandising teams as the company trims expenses to offset increased spending on new priorities, namely e-commerce and employee wages and training.
Recent changes aim to keep Walmart competitive with Amazon and other rivals — such as fast-growing Aldi and Lidl — and help the company “invent the future of shopping again,” as president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon pledged at Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting in June.
“Together, we’re building a new Walmart,” he told more than 14,000 U.S. and global associates at the meeting. “We’re going to make shopping with us faster, easier and more enjoyable. We’ll do more than just save customers money, and you, our associates, will make the difference. Looking ahead, we will compete with technology but win with people. We will be people-led and tech-empowered.”
Investments in e-commerce appear to be paying off. The company posted a 60% year-on-year increase in online sales for the three months through July.
Traffic at Walmart’s U.S. stores has risen in each of the last 10 quarters, a period that coincides with the retailer’s previous reorganization.