Walmart automation will eliminate 7,000 jobs

By Shawn Knight · 29 replies
Sep 2, 2016
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  1. Walmart is preparing to eliminate around 7,000 jobs in the coming months as the largest private employer in the country looks to boost efficiency in a rapidly changing retail landscape.

    The cuts will affect back-office tasks such as accounting and invoicing. As The Wall Street Journal notes, these positions are most often held by employees that have been with the company for many years and are among the highest paid hourly workers in stores.

    Walmart, however, wants these veteran employees to be working directly with shoppers, not hidden away in backrooms.

    Starting early next year, the mega retailer will be replacing the tasks that back-office employees do with new money-counting “cash recycler” machines and relocating other tasks to a central office.

    Walmart spokesperson Deisha Barnett said they tested the change in roughly 500 stores earlier this year. Barnett added that they believe most displaced employees will find new customer-facing roles and that their salaries could go up or down depending on their new position.

    Although it is replacing some jobs with automation, industry-wide changes are creating several new positions that didn’t exist just a few years ago. For example, Walmart is expanding a new service that lets customers order their groceries online and pick them up curbside. The retailer needs dedicated employees to fill the orders and deliver them to the customer’s vehicle when they arrive. Another program uses Uber and Lyft drivers to deliver groceries directly to a customer's home.

    Not everyone, however, is excited about the change. One employee that has been with Walmart for more than 20 years making $15 an hour doing invoicing said they are getting their resume together because a move back to the store floor isn’t appealing.

    Permalink to story.

  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    One employee that has been with Walmart for more than 20 years making $15 an hour

    I have a family member who works for a major U.S. retailer. He's been there 18 months. Started at $9.50/hr. Now makes $18.

    Walmart is a dead-end employer if you aren't corporate.
  3. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,595   +257

    Oh BOO HOO, you have to deal with the general public. For ****s sake at least you have a damn good paying job.
  4. HamRadioGuy

    HamRadioGuy TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Guess you missed the part "their salaries could go up or down depending on their new position", so moving from invoicing to the store floor might cut their salary significantly and no longer result in a "good" paying job. How many of us would like to see our salaries cut?
    Levi Sterling likes this.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    I assume you've never worked retail.
  6. Levi Sterling

    Levi Sterling TS Booster Posts: 80   +26

    All of this new automation will work like **** because it costs money, and walmart and their money are hard to separate.
  7. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,311   +1,404

    Yay, now after destroying American wages they're going to destroy American jobs even further than they already did by selling Chinese junk.

    I might spend more in the long run, but at least I know my spending habits aren't lowering wages and destroying jobs. Somethings like tech can't be avoided, but everything else I try my best to avoid predatory companies that sell things made with Chinese slave labor.
  8. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Going to Wal-Mart is pretty entertaining. Kids screaming, transgenders in dresses, food spilled on the floor, the ammo department being run by a 19 year old girl, weird smells, dirty floors, $5 DVD's (they aren't $2 yet? crazy) and more automation then a exchange server.
    fastvince and wastedkill like this.
  9. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,595   +257

    Yes, I read the whole article... in his position he could make more. So what's your point, really?
  10. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,595   +257

    I've worked customer service most my working career. What are you getting at?
  11. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    Seriously, do people who go to these Walmarts live on another planet? I keep hearing all these stories and aside from the odd, weirdly dressed person (rare) I have yet to see all these "Walmart People" everyone talks about. My Walmart doesn't have dirty floors, you rarely hear screaming children, you don't see the really weird people you find on the net, and I have yet to see spilled food on the floors. As for automation, you must be delusional if you think every major store isn't working on the same thing or will be soon. Most ever retail store has self-checkout with more being added all the time, background automation is always being worked on it's something all companies work on because it saves money.
  12. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    I'm getting at the fact that floor work is not suited to everyone. Saying "Don't complain, you get good money!" to someone who doesn't enjoy floor work is like like telling a customer "What did you expect?" when they complain about a cheap blender. This is especially true of stores in locations with "problematic" clientele.

    Location is everything. There are three Walmarts within 30 minutes of where I live. The nearest store checks every box on the People of Walmart checklist and anyone not on that list is a Hispanic immigrant. The second nearest Walmart checks half the boxes. The one furthest away, which is in an middle- to upper middle-class white suburb, is a fantastic place to shop.
    psycros likes this.
  13. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Addict Posts: 174   +68

    I'm not a fan of Walmart by any means, but they did say they tested it in 500 stores. I would have to assume with the job cuts this means it worked fine.
    Levi Sterling likes this.
  14. HamRadioGuy

    HamRadioGuy TS Rookie Posts: 19

    My point is that an employee with more than 20 years at Walmart making $15 an hour doing invoicing is probably going to have their salary go down, not up, and probably by a significant amount if they were to be moved to the store floor. At those salary levels, this could easily mean the difference between being able to feed your family and not being able to feed your family. How much does Walmart pay an entry level employee to work on the store floor? (Yes, I am assuming that this person worked on invoicing or related areas for 20 years and doesn't have any recent or significant experience or training on the store floor - the more likely scenario.)

    The other significant point of this example that I think you are missing is that chances are someone who's job is doing invoicing probably doesn't want to work on the store floor. If they wanted to work on the store floor, they probably would have applied for a job on the store floor and not be working on invoicing.

    I saw your other comment about working customer service most your working career. How would you like to be moved onto invoicing and have your salary go down to that of an entry level person?!? Can you continue to feed your family?!? Or do you really think your employer will raise your salary to be moved into an area where you don't have any experience or training?!?
    psycros likes this.
  15. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 85   +64

    Location is everything. There are three Walmarts within 30 minutes of where I live. The nearest store checks every box on the People of Walmart checklist and anyone not on that list is a Hispanic immigrant. The second nearest Walmart checks half the boxes. The one furthest away, which is in an middle- to upper middle-class white suburb, is a fantastic place to shop.[/QUOTE]

    I have noticed this also. There is a Wal-mart near my work in a better part of town that I go to quite oftern and the people there (both customers and workers) always seem decent. Then some other Wal-mart in other areas of town are completely different. Of course, to be fair, I have seen this at other retailers too.
  16. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,595   +257

    You really are trying to defend this guy, huh? You have some good points. Do you REALLY think they would cut the salary of a good employee? Sure... guess it's possible, but if they know he/she is a valuable employee, they will do what it takes to make it right. My guess is that he's not a very good employee. But we are really just speculating, arent we?

    Personally in my job, I do a lot of different things between sales, customer service all the way to tech support and general maintenance. If I get paid the same or better, I'd have no main issues. Working the floor doesnt really take experience though man, but I think I'm still missing your point, intentionally. lol

    MY main point, is that I think it's funny how people find it so difficult to deal with the public. I mean, it sucks... yes, but sometimes you just got to suck it up. I really meant nothing else by my comment. Some people are apparently reading to far into this... Take a salary deduction, work the floor, keep applying for new jobs. I see some people just quit as soon as they start a job simply because they dont like to work with public. KEEP the job, deal with it, and look for something else in between. REALLY, didnt mean much else on my first comment man. Yadda yadda yadda, and I know the article just says the guy is preparing his resume or whatever, ****s sake its only speculation. This is what I get for being one of the first people to comment! lmao people focusing on what I have to say like it matters. lmao
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  17. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,595   +257

    You really have a good point though. I got to that per hour in 5 years at my current job. If it took me 20 years... no way. I would have been looking elsewhere 15 years ago. lol
  18. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 843   +38

    This is nothing new. When the store I work at now was built a year and a half ago, they told us we would not have an invoice associate, because the position was being phased out. Instead, the responsibilities would go to the receiving associate. The new cash recyclers for accounting have been rolling out for several months now. The accounting associates are not losing their jobs, because they are still needed. They have to verify the reports that come out of the recycler, prepare deposits, and check the paperwork on register shortages and verify other things on the paperwork. After they do that, they then go out onto the floor and verify product counts to ensure that we get proper product amounts in. The reason shelves are always empty is because nobody is verifying counts. If your system says you have 10 bottles of shampoo and there are only 2 on the shelf, the system won't reorder because it thinks you still have enough. The accounting associate will take care of that. Once you start having products that show a negative onhand, the system thinks that you still have the product, and so it won't reorder. The downside is that in the supercenters, they used to have 2 accounting associates working at once due to the large cash flow. Now with the new machines, you only need one. The position itself is still staying, they're just reducing the amount of people working in it.

    And NONE of this should come as a surprise. They drastically increased wages...and people didn't think things like this would happen? My store started taking bets about what WM would do to cut even more costs. I know one thing they did is, in the neighborhood markets at least, they stopped putting lights at the top of the registers. We now have signs that we flip that say "open" on one side and "closed" on the other. Cuts down on the power bill, I guess, lol. But now you have short associates struggling to flip a sign that sits above their reach.

    Glad I'm not gonna be here for much longer. Hate working for this company. They pay is better but now you're doing double the work and getting yelled at when not finishing. "We're going to double your work load and get rid of half of your associates. And then we're going to yell at you because things aren't getting done. And when you complain about the new time restraints, double load and reduced help, we're just going to say 'too bad.'" Umm......gee, thanks.
    psycros likes this.
  19. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Evangelist Posts: 336   +199

    Today it's walmart. Tomorrow it's your job.

    A lot more jobs than one might think are candidates for robot replacement.

    Talk crap now. Cry tomorrow.
  20. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Learn to sell. Diversify your skill set. Profit.

    Bank on your job. Say it won't happen to you. Collect unemployment.
  21. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,373   +69

    You really think these are decent wages and raises? When I worked at the city of la in 1985, I started at $32,000; $16 an hour. I got 30% merit/promo/union raises each year and in 1988 I was making $25/hr., $50,000/year plus medical, pension (80% salary after 30 years), life, optical, and dental insurance at low cost. They presently make, salary alone, $110,000 a year salary ($170,000 a year including benefits) or more than $55/hr salary to start. When a system went down and we were called in for overtime, because we were ieee union we got double time and a half guaranteed 3 hours pay even if it took only 15 minutes to fix it. Firemen here in darien, il make $200,000 salary and benefits after 10 years not needing any college. Minumum wage is $8/hr? Let's start asking for some decent wages. Internet is sh-t. Mom sort of bribed me to give all this up by sending new cars, etc. but I'm glad I got out of the rat race. They had concerts at city hall when I was there, at present they have protests always.
  22. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,870   +1,291

    Its not really speculation when this this is always how things work out. Name one time that any non-management employee ever got a raise to compensate for increased workload and responsibilities. You can't.

    No, you don't. But thanks for eliminating any doubt that you lack credibility.
  23. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    You're exaggerating a bit. It was more like 75% after 35 years. Still very good but is there really any need to overstate it?
  24. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,595   +257

    lol okay man, whatever you say. I really dont care to prove anything to you. IDGAF +Ignored
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  25. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    I guess I live in a decent area since the 4 Walmarts within easy drive of me are all nice. The worst I have seen is huge amounts of people near the first of the month but nothing bad and the stores are clean and well kept.

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