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story.lead_photo.caption This Nov. 9, 2018, file photo shows a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Walmart Inc. is trimming its U.S. pharmacy employees by about 3%, a Walmart spokesman confirmed Thursday. The company didn't say how many jobs may be cut. Walmart has pharmacies in most of its 4,700 U.S. stores.

The move is part of a "transformational journey" as the retailer invests in key growth areas, the Bentonville retailer said in an emailed statement.

"We are aligning our staffing with the demands of the business to consistently serve our customers now and in the future," the statement said. "As we continue to position our business, we are making some adjustments in health and wellness that will impact approximately 3 percent of our pharmacy associates. We're actively working to place these associates in other open positions."

Health and wellness account for 11% of Walmart's nearly $332 billion in U.S. revenue. The sector has fairly new leadership. Sean Slovenski, who has headed health and wellness for Walmart U.S. since July 2018, was previously vice president of innovation at Humana.

Walmart U.S. chief executive Greg Foran said in a news release announcing Slovenski's hiring that "Sean is a proven leader and entrepreneur with an established track record in defining and building businesses within the health-care industry."

Walmart's not the only drug retailer that's cutting costs over pressure from traditional rivals and digitally focused competitors. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is closing 750 U.S. stores, while Rite Aid Corp. plans to shed about 400 corporate jobs. Walgreens Chief Executive Officer Stefano Pessina said in April that industry conditions are the toughest he's seen in his tenure.

Walmart shares fell 6 cents, or 0.05%, to close Thursday at $110.10.

Information for this article was contributed by Matthew Boyle of Bloomberg News.

Business on 06/28/2019

Print Headline: Walmart to cut pharmacy jobs by 3%

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