By  on February 3, 2010

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Wednesday it will eliminate about 300 jobs at its Bentonville, Ark., corporate headquarters as part of a strategy to improve efficiency and cut costs.

The latest move comes after the retailer last week said it will break up Wal-Mart U.S. into three geographical regions, create a new merchandising execution organization, change the way products are sourced globally, close 10 Sam’s Club stores in the U.S. and lay off 11,000 employees.

The positions at Wal-Mart’s headquarters are primarily in corporate support areas, said Mike Duke, president and chief executive officer. In a memo to employees, Duke said asking the home office to make staff reductions was only fair in light of the push for operations to become leaner and more customer-focused.

“Last fall, we laid out three strategic priorities to deliver even more value for both customers and shareholders,” Duke said. “Growth, leverage and returns.” Citing the recent changes at the company, he added, “[Each of the] moves has been designed to help us become more global, take advantage of our scale and move our business even closer to the customer. I’ve asked each of my direct reports to look across their span of control for opportunities to eliminate duplication, reduce costs and shift work closer to the operating units.”

With this strategic piece in place, Duke said Wal-Mart is beginning its new fiscal year with “every part of our business focused on being even more responsive to our customers.”

Duke did not mention finding other positions within the company for employees who were cut. “Everyone who will be leaving the company will be treated with care and respect, and we will do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible,” he said.

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