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story.lead_photo.caption In this Oct. 5, 2007, file photo, an American flag flies in front of the Walmart Stores Inc. headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. (AP Photo/April L. Brown, File)

Walmart Inc. is eliminating 570 corporate jobs in North Carolina as the retailer continues to outsource its U.S. finance and accounting services.

The jobs will be cut in rounds starting in September and continuing until March 2020, Walmart said in a Worker Adjustment and Restraining Notification Act filed in North Carolina on June 12. All affected workers have been notified.

"This was a difficult decision that affects friends and associates we care about deeply," Walmart spokesman Robyn Babbitt said Wednesday. "We appreciate their important contributions, and we're committed to handling every transition over the next seven months smoothly and respectfully."

The latest job cuts come as the world's largest retailer assesses its U.S. finance and accounting services, which have been housed primarily in North Carolina and Bentonville.

Last fall, Walmart said it was working with Genpact, an outside firm with finance and accounting expertise, to manage part of the retailer's operations. At the time, Walmart began transferring jobs from its Bentonville headquarters to Genpact, offering all its workers roughly the same job, comparable pay and benefits, but as Genpact employees, a spokesman said.

That was not the case with last week's notice in North Carolina.

The retailer said it is helping its finance and accounting workers in North Carolina find jobs within its area stores and club stores or other similar positions within the company. Walmart did not say whether it plans to transfer any of them to Genpact.

"We are maintaining a corporate presence in Charlotte," Babbitt said. Last week, Walmart told employees of plans to expand its partnership with Genpact to handle its Global Business Services financing and accounting work, done in Charlotte. The offices, located near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, will continue to house Walmart's Global Business Services "People Solutions" and U.S. regional workers.

In the June 12 notification, Derek Scott, Walmart's senior associate general counsel, said the company is undergoing a period of transformation.

"Our customers are changing the way they shop, which requires us to change how we work. To compete in this new era of retail we must be willing to pull back in some areas to invest in others," Scott wrote. "Today, regrettably, these changes led to the elimination of positions."

At the end of the transition period, workers who don't land a position within Walmart will be offered a severance package and career counseling services, the company said.

Walmart employs more than 56,000 people in North Carolina and has 216 flagship and Sam's Club stores and corporate offices.

Walmart on Wednesday also notified about 100 workers at its Bentonville jewelry warehouse that they will soon lose their jobs, a Walmart spokesman confirmed.

Walmart filed a notice about the cuts on Wednesday, the spokesman said. The company said in January 2018 that the jewelry distribution center would close to make way for the new Walmart headquarters being built on the property. The spokesman said about 100 workers elected to stay at the facility through closing, and chose not to seek other jobs within the company.

To make way for the new headquarters campus, which will be built in stages over the next five to seven years, Walmart also moved a fashion distribution center in Bentonville, along with a shoe-return center that had been in Fort Smith, into a 1 million-square-foot warehouse at 5800 S.W. Regional Airport Blvd. Nearly 600 people work at the new facility, which officially opened in March.

Walmart announced plans to build its new headquarters in September 2017. Last month, the company revealed design plans for the new campus. Demolition of existing buildings as well as utility and infrastructure construction are scheduled to start this summer, the company said.

Business on 06/20/2019

Print Headline: Retailer cutting 570 jobs in N.C.

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