The cost of raising the minimum starting wage for more than 100,000 workers is taking its toll on the world’s largest retailer.
Walmart will announce hundreds of layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, as early as Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported late on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
As many as 500 employees, including senior managers, are expected to lose their jobs, the anonymous sources said; a fraction of the roughly 18,600 people employed at the head office.
News of the cuts comes on the heels of Walmart’s lackluster second quarter, which delivered a drop in net profits to $3.48 billion (down from $3.92 billion) that CEO Doug McMillon attributed to increased spending on its workforce and stores, as well as improving its e-commerce fulfillment capabilities.
During an earnings conference call in August, he warned the company would be “cutting costs where appropriate” during the second half of the year.
If the rumors are true, it will be the second wave of corporate layoffs by the retail giant this year—about 50 people were discharged in February.
Walmart isn’t the only big-box retailer feeling the pinch from higher operating costs. Target has laid off more than 20,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and India this year, while J.C. Penney announced plans to cut about 2,250 jobs last January.