Walmart is cutting back on its staffing at its headquarters and regional offices as it attempts to scale back its costs. Most of those cuts will reportedly be coming from Walmart’s human resources department; according to unnamed sources, top executives believe that many of those functions can be filled by consultants. Store positions, it seems, will be largely untouched.
“As we’ve previously shared, we are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and effectively,” Wal-Mart Stores spokesman Greg Hitt told Fortune in an email statement that stopped short of confirming the job cuts.“While we continually look at our corporate structure, we have not made any announcements.”
The cuts are comparably small, given that Walmart has 18,000 workers in its HQ alone and 1.4 million nationwide, making it the largest private U.S. employer.
The move comes as Walmart is finding its profit margins increasingly under pressure — store workers have seen their wages increase $2.7 billion per year on average over the last two years, and Walmart has invested big and hard into bridging the gap into e-commerce.
And this latest round of cuts is not a total outlier — 7,000 accounting and invoicing positions were cut within U.S. stores in September of last year so that workers were freed up for in-store customer service. In 2015, the company cut 450 jobs at its headquarters to become nimbler.
Walmart is also not alone at the layoff party in progress — Macy’s is cutting 10,000 jobs and closing 68 stores this year, while The Limited this weekend laid off 4,000 workers as it closed all its stores but kept its web site active.