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Walmart cuts 400 jobs at Polk County distribution facility

For the third time this year, one of the world's biggest corporations lays off employees in Florida.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 6:45 p.m. March 27, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Walmart has announced three rounds of layoffs in Florida thus far in 2023.
Walmart has announced three rounds of layoffs in Florida thus far in 2023.
Courtesy photo
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Walmart is laying off 400 employees at an e-commerce distribution facility in Davenport, the latest round of job cuts the retailer has made in Florida this year.

The cuts are at a facility located at 5100 North Ridge Trail, just off of U.S. 27 and Interstate 4.

In a letter to Polk County and state officials, the company says it is laying off the employees in June but does not give a reason why the cuts are being made.

Two people who answered the phone at the facility said they are unable to comment and directed questions to the company’s media department. Walmart did not respond to a request for comment.

A report in Reuters, however, confirms the company is laying off hundreds of employees at five U.S. facilities within 90 days, including the one in Davenport. Reuters reports a spokesperson says the cuts are due to a reduction or elimination in evening and weekend shifts. The spokesperson, according to Reuters, declined to call the cuts a mass layoff and says the warehouses continue to operate normally.

The Davenport letter says employees will be able to apply for work at other Walmart or Sam’s Club locations and continue to have access to an associate support center.

“All associates who do not otherwise accept positions at other Walmart facilities will separate from Walmart effective June 2, 2023,” the letter says. “We expect all separations to be permanent.”

This is the third time Walmart has notified the state about layoffs in Florida so far this year.

In February, the company sent a letter saying it was laying off 71 people because it was closing a store in Pinellas Park. And a week ago, on March 20, it sent a letter saying it was laying off 69 people in Jacksonville who worked in the field maintenance division.

The three letters were sent to meet WARN Notice requirements; Federal law requires companies to provide states with Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification notices when making job cuts. The impacted employees in Davenport were notified they were losing their jobs Feb. 24, but the letter was not sent until March 24 and not posted on the state’s WARN database until March 27.

Walmart made headlines in 2017 when it opened a $150 million, 50-acre e-commerce facility in Davenport that it said would employ 1,500. The company, according to a story in the Business Observer, said at the time that it was the sixth e-commerce fulfillment center in the Walmart network and the first in Florida.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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