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Wal-Mart is cutting hundreds of jobs to slash costs

Krystina Gustafson

Wal-Mart (WMT) is eliminating hundreds of jobs in its latest attempt to cut costs as it invests in online.

The layoffs span the company's international, technology and Sam's Club divisions. They follow Wal-Mart's decision to eliminate some 1,000 corporate positions earlier this year, including 200 in its e-commerce division.

A spokesman for the retailer confirmed the job cuts to CNBC, which had originally been reported by Dow Jones.

"It's really a continuation of what we said back in January," Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove told CNBC. "It's all part of managing our costs and our capital."

Indeed, the company said earlier this year that it was looking at its corporate head count for ways to operate more efficiently. That round of layoffs came a few months after Wal-Mart's investor day, when the retailer said it would invest more of its dollars into digital and slow its physical store growth.

In total, Wal-Mart has eliminated roughly 18,000 jobs since early last year, Hargrove confirmed. However, many of the affected employees have been reassigned, he said.

Roughly 6,000 of the 7,000 employees who had their back-office positions eliminated were reassigned, Hargrove said. Nearly 65 percent of the 10,000 of the store employees who lost their jobs due to last year's store closures were also retained, Hargrove said. And the company will hire 10,000 workers through new store openings, he said.

The Wal-Mart news comes just a few days after a disappointing jobs report that was hurt by retail layoffs. Nearly 30,000 retail workers lost their jobs in March, leading to the worst two months for the industry's job creation since December 2009.

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