• Asda parent company Walmart to cut 7,000 back-office jobs
  • Accounting and invoicing roles will be axed across its 4,600 stores in the coming months
  • Walmart employs more than 1.5 million people and is America’s largest private employer

Asda owner Walmart has revealed plans to cut around 7,000 desk jobs over the next few months as it strives to become more efficient.

The US grocery giant, which is America’s largest private employer with more than 1.5 million employees, is cutting down its back-office accounting and invoicing roles to target greater efficiency at its cavernous stores.

These are some of the highest paid roles in store, mostly held by long-term employees.

Walmart executives told the Wall Street Journal that many back-office tasks can be automated and the retailer wants employees to be working with shoppers instead.

A Walmart spokesperson said: “This is about simplifying how stores work, there are a number of initiatives that are designed to get more associates in front of our customers”.

Staff move

From early next year, some of the administrative work will be handled by a central office or new money-counting machines in stores, which the grocer tested in around 500 stores earlier this year.

Walmart, which raised starting wages for its store employees last year, is currently working to expand its click-and-collect service and, earlier this month, agreed to acquire online retailer Jet.com for around $3bn (£2.25bn) to bolster its ecommerce proposition.

The job cuts behind the scenes at Walmart’s 4,600 US stores come two weeks after the US titan vowed to address Asda’s performance in the UK “with urgency” after it suffered its worst-ever slump in quarterly like-for-likes.

Retail Week was given exclusive access to Walmart’s shareholders week earlier this year, as the only European media outlet to attend the event.