(Bloomberg)—Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will cut 250 jobs in China to improve efficiency.
The reductions will mostly come from merchandising and marketing divisions, after buying functions were consolidated into the Shenzhen headquarters to improve quality and food safety, Ray Bracy, a spokesman for Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart in China said by phone Tuesday. The company will also cut some jobs in departments including tax and asset protection.
Wal-Mart is working to raise food safety standards in the country after fox DNA was found in meat it was selling as donkey. The job cuts disclosed Tuesday affect low- and mid-level workers and follow dismissals of about 30 senior executives last month in China amid an Asia revamp that includes store closures in Japan and management changes in India.
“Why would you have 28 buyers in 28 different cities buying bottled water?” Bracy said. “By creating a logistics network, we’ve been able to streamline and centralize.”
The Wall Street Journal reported the job cuts earlier Tuesday.
Separately, Wal-Mart said it will open nine new stores and a new distribution center in China this month, bringing new facilities this year to 31. The openings are creating 6,000 new jobs, according to the company’s statement today. Wal-Mart has already announced plans to open 110 outlets and distribution centers by 2016.
The retailer, which re-appointed Scott Price as Asia chief last month, is cutting back in Japan and India. In Japan, Wal- Mart plans to close about 30 stores as it focuses on fresh food. In India, the company exited a six-year partnership with India’s Bharti Enterprises Pvt. last year, choosing to focus on wholesale in the country.