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Walmart to lay off hundreds of corporate employees in Charlotte after outsourcing work

Walmart will lay off nearly 570 corporate employees at its facility near Charlotte’s airport as the retailer transitions its finance and accounting services to a third-party vendor.

The layoffs will begin in September and will continue in waves through early 2020, Walmart said in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice filed with the state last week. All affected workers have been notified, Walmart said.

Walmart said it will maintain a “solid presence” at its Charlotte corporate offices near the airport, although the company would not say how many. The company has 216 stores in North Carolina under the Walmart and Sam’s Club banner, and it employs more than 56,000 statewide.

The third-party vendor that will handle the finance and accounting work is Genpact, a publicly traded financial services firm with headquarters in New York. Walmart says Genpact will place some of the accounting and finance positions at the retailer’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., and some others will be outside the U.S. (although Walmart would not say where.)

Walmart is “a strong company undergoing a period of great transformation,” the Arkansas retail giant said in the WARN filing. To compete in the current competitive retail environment, Walmart has to be willing to “pull back” in some areas to invest in others, the company said. Partnering with Genpact, Walmart says, is a way to accelerate the company’s “digital transformation.”

“As our company continues evolving, we’ve said we must strike the right balance between managing the needs of our business, our associates and our customers,” spokeswoman Robyn Babbitt said in an email.

The company said it has provided impacted employees with support, including outplacement services and benefits assistance.

Other changes

Walmart, the No. 2 grocery chain in the Charlotte region by market share, has been making changes to many of its stores in recent years.

In April, the company announced plans to spend $87 million to remodel 18 stores throughout North Carolina, including several in the Charlotte region. Among other changes, Walmart said it would add pickup towers (16-foot-tall vending machines that fulfill customers’ online orders) to several stores.

In 2016, the company said that in a move to save money, it would close 269 stores, including 17 in North Carolina.

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As the retail and sports business reporter for the Observer, Katie Peralta covers everything from grocery-store competition in Charlotte to tax breaks for pro sports teams. She is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
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