[LONDON] Wal-Mart Stores Inc is planning a round of layoffs as early as Friday that would affect hundreds of employees at its headquarters in Arkansas, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Fewer than 500 workers are expected to lose their jobs at the world's largest retailer, the Journal said. Some Wal-Mart department directors were told to cancel travel this week or make sure they come to the office on Friday, the report said, citing another person who spoke with the Wal-Mart employees.
Wal-Mart and its units had about 2.2 million employees globally, with nearly 1.4 million associates in the United States, as of the end of its fiscal 2015.
Wal-Mart did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report.
Wal-Mart reported weaker quarterly earnings and lowered its annual forecast in August, as it coped with higher labor costs, a squeeze on pharmacy margins and sliding sales at its British supermarket chain.
Earlier this month, the retailer said that it plans to hire 60,000 seasonal employees to work at its stores in the United States, the same as last year.