Is Walmart’s latest move about to give the retailer a newfound edge in the competitive grocery market? Recent headlines have sprouted up stating that Walmart is taking back a handful of its facilities from Wisconsin-based third party distribution company Schneider Logistics, in a move to consolidate its distribution network.
A report by The Press-Tribune outlines plans for an Eastvale, California, facility—noting that postings on the California’s WARN Act site, which lists pending job terminations, state Schneider would terminate 461 workers in Eastvale and 51 in nearby Fontana.
Walmart's Senior Manager, Media Relations, Michelle Malashock told the news source that the company plans to retain “as many people as possible” when it assumes control of the Eastvale distribution center. She also noted that Walmart plans to add more staff, possibly bringing the total of employees in Eastvale to 700.
A separate report by The Herald-News notes that a Schneider-run, 3.4-million-square-foot distribution center in Elwood, Illinois, will also be reabsorbed into Walmart’s distribution infrastructure proper. Schneider has issued a layoff notice for 589 people employed at the facility.
“The facility's not closing,” Caroline Portlock, Director of the Workforce Investment Board of Will County told The Herald-News. “It's anticipated that employees will be offered employment by Walmart.”
A third report by The Columbus Dispatch details a familiar pattern.
“Walmart plans to operate its truck fleet at its Washington Court House facility, eliminating a third-party carrier, and will employ more than 100 drivers as part of the move,” the news source states, noting that the retailer has already begun accepting applications. The retailer may also hire more than 75 new drivers, in addition to 125 drivers who are expected to transition from Schneider’s workforce.
Late last year, Walmart made headlines over its increased investments in its shipping fleet. The mega-retailer added more than 1,400 truckers to its workforce, and offered an average annual salary of $87,500 annual, as well as $1,500 referral bonuses.
Is this reassumption of distribution centers another play for grocery dominance? Deli Market News will continue to report.