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2005-07-06
London, England. Wal-Mart Lays Off 1,400 Workers

Wal-Mart international has some bright spots, like the expansion possibilities in China, but the Arkansas retailer's acquisition of British Asda has left much to be desired. Now the American retailer is trying to "reignite" its stores in the United Kingdom. Wal-Mart announced recently that it is cutting 200 management jobs and as many as 1,200 store positions, in what the Associated Press called a "shake-up of the company" to try and make it more competitive with retailer leader Tesco PLC. "I'm simply not satisfied with this year's average performance," said Asda President Andy Bond. "Our natural home is outperformance and today's changes put in place the teams... that will re-ignite our business over the next 12 to 18 months." Wal-Mart employs 140,000 people across Britain. Wal-Mart's quarterly operating profits from Asda have not been much to write home about, falling in the low single digits. Wal-Mart is recalling its chief operating officer from Wal-Mart in Canada to become CEO and trading director for Asda.

What you can do: Bottom line: Wal-Mart has not set the Brits on fire. In England, and in Germany, the American retailer has turned in a disappointing performance. Well, there's always Chinese empires to dream about. Asda's latest move is to acquire Safeway stores in Northern Ireland. See related story over concerns with that move.










 
 
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