February 10, 2009 / 6:10 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Wal-Mart cutting 700-800 jobs at its home offices

(Adds details on job cuts)

By Nicole Maestri

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) is cutting 700 to 800 jobs at its Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club home offices as the world’s largest retailer looks to realign its corporate structure and reduce costs.

The discount retailer, which has roughly 14,000 employees at its home office in Bentonville, Arkansas, is eliminating jobs in merchandising, real estate and marketing in its Wal-Mart U.S. division, while cutting merchandising positions at its Sam’s Club warehouse division.

At the same time, Wal-Mart will add new positions in operations that are taking on greater importance, spokesman David Tovar said on Tuesday.

For instance, given Wal-Mart’s increased focus on renovating and relocating stores, the company will add jobs positions in that area, he said.

Wal-Mart, which has more than 2 million employees worldwide, still expects to hire thousands of workers for its stores this year, Tovar said.

    Numerous retailers, including discounter Target Corp (TGT.N) and department store operator Macy’s Inc (M.N) have announced job cuts in recent weeks as the recession crimps sales.

    Wal-Mart’s sales at U.S. stores open at least a year have been outpacing its competitors, but the retailer has said it would keep a close eye on expenses amid the economic downturn.

    Last year, Wal-Mart eliminated dozens of positions in its struggling apparel division at its home office and expanded the presence of its apparel unit in Manhattan.

    As part of the latest realignment, Wal-Mart will again cut the size of its Arkansas-based apparel division while adding more jobs in New York. (Reporting by Nicole Maestri; Editing by Brian Moss and Lisa Von Ahn)

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