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Walmart Set to Cut Jobs at 500 Locations

Walmart, the largest retailer in the country, has announced the elimination of up to 1,500 jobs in some 500 locations across the country.

Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg said the jobs are back-office jobs such as accounting and other positions, and the cuts affect about 1,500 jobs, or two or three people per store.

Not all those employees will be let go, however, as most will be offered a position elsewhere in the stores.

One of Walmart’s goals, Lundberg said, is to get as many of its 1.4 million workers as possible out on the floor meeting and dealing with customers.

The move comes as Walmart puts in place a new campaign to upgrade stores and enlarge online offerings.

“We are spending a lot of time trying to bring enthusiasm back to the stores,” Walmart’s chief merchandising officer for its U.S. stores said to the media early in June. “We have the opportunity to re-imagine retail, again, so that’s what we’re out to do,” the retailer’s CEO added during the same press conference.

The U.S. retail sector was down for the second quarter, Walmart included, though Walmart is not down as low as chief rival Target.

Target’s stock fell by 5.43 percent during recent trading, more than rivals J.C. Penney, which was down 2.47 percent, and Walmart, down 2.75 percent. But other retailers lost heavily. Kohl’s was down 6.02 percent, and Sears dropped by 5.35 percent, amid bad news from President Barack Obama’s tepid economy.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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