Walmart laying off hundreds of fulfillment center employees

Yahoo Finance Live discusses a report that Walmart will be laying off hundreds of fulfillment center employees as the retail giant explores integrating automation into its business practices.

Video Transcript

- Let's take a look at Walmart because, reportedly, the company is cutting positions as it invests more in automation. This is all according to Reuters. The retail giant scaling back on some of its staffing at a few e-commerce f-- fu-- fulfillment centers-- if I can get it out. Right now, about 200 employees are going to be impacted. But Walmart will reportedly make similar changes at a number of centers across a couple of states here, ultimately affecting hundreds of more jobs.

Now, Walmart says that it is working with its employees to find new positions within the company. So the retail giant is making some tough decisions here. We have seen a number of its competitors, including Amazon, ax thousands of jobs. It's been able to avoid layoffs of that size for now, but, Josh, we certainly are seeing the retail landscape change. These companies need to make strategic decisions. A lot of that is investment in tech, investment in automation. And some jobs are being eliminated as a result.

JOSH SCHAFER: And it's only a couple hundred jobs. You don't want to make a big deal about the automation note there, but it is interesting to cut human jobs for automation. It reminded me of what Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang told us yesterday. With this rate hike environment, as companies try and cut back, one way to do that is computing. Of course, he's talking his own book a little bit there with AI. But it is interesting to think about that, right, Dave, and what AI and what automation could do to help jobs in that way. Again, only a couple hundred jobs, but still it looks like that might be what is being used here to some extent-- automation.

DAVE BRIGGS: Well, and on that note, I've just been surprised that Amazon hasn't had more targeted layoffs in the e-commerce section because that's where they exploded. They doubled their headcount in that two-year period. And we've seen even the most recent layoffs were not anywhere near e-commerce, which is sort of a surprise.

And I think those are-- I hate to say it-- I do think they're probably coming at some point this year-- but also layoffs. Accenture laid off 19,000 today. Indeed laid off 2,200 or 15% of their workforce today. A gloomy economic backdrop continues to appear.

JOSH SCHAFER: We stopped talking about banks for a day, and then, all of a sudden, we're back on the layoff story, right? And it's still happening.

- Unfortunately.

JOSH SCHAFER: You know it's still happening, though. And it's something we hadn't talked about it seemed like in a couple of weeks, but it's back.