Wal-Mart Canada Corp. has cut 210 jobs as it moves to streamline its operations in an increasingly crowded retail landscape.
The company on Tuesday confirmed it made some "organizational changes" to its Mississauga head office and other management structures, resulting in the 210 cuts. In all it has about 1,400 employees at its headquarters.
"As Wal-Mart Canada positions itself competitively for the future, the company is focused on continuous improvement," it said in a statement. The Globe and Mail last week reported the expected job cuts.
Wal-Mart said it is a "growth company," accelerating operations in areas such as food and e-commerce. And it said the retailer, with 95,000 jobs in Canada, has added 2,900 positions this year, mostly at stores.
Wal-Mart Canada has been investing in expanding its grocery and e-commerce businesses even as it battles online shopping giant Amazon.com Inc., which is rapidly boosting its business in this country.
Wal-Mart's latest cuts follow the company's decision last spring to shave 750 jobs in a store management restructuring.
The retailer's initiatives seem to be paying off. Wal-Mart reported last week it increased its Canadian operating profit by 3.5 per cent in its third quarter after it had slipped in three of the previous seven quarters. Its same-store sales here, after six quarters of declines, also picked up 0.6 per cent in the latest quarter and 0.2 per cent in the previous one. But shopper traffic to stores continued to drop as more consumers shop online. Same-store sales are considered an important measure of retail health.
David Cheesewright, who heads parent Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s international division, said its Canadian sales of fresh food were especially strong, posting "double-digit growth" as a result of its expanded grocery presence in its super centres. And he said the Canadian division cut operating expenses by 0.09 per cent "through continued focus on lowering costs."
"I am especially pleased by the sales improvement this quarter in Canada, both sequentially and over last year," Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon told a conference call. "The investments we have made to remodel our stores and drive super centre expansion are resonating with customers."
Wal-Mart Canada is estimated to generate about $23-billion in annual sales. The world's largest retailer doesn't break out the amount of its sales in this country.