Lowe's Announces Job Cuts
Lowe's confirmed last week that it's laying off an undisclosed number of delivery workers nationwide as the company shifts to a third-party delivery service. In an email to The Charlotte Observer, the home improvement retailer said its decision is in response to “the growing demand for timely delivery,” including next-day delivery, in select markets. The latest layoff announcement follows a series of other moves Lowe’s has made to cut costs and boost profitability. Earlier this summer, Lowe's laid off about 125 corporate tech workers, mostly at its Mooresville, N.C. headquarters. Many of the affected information technology job functions are being sent to Bangalore, India, where Lowe’s employs approximately 1,000 corporate workers.
Total Retail's Take: Further proof of the impact Amazon.com is having on the retail industry. In Total Retail's latest research report, The Amazon Effect, 89 percent of the retail executives we surveyed either strongly or somewhat agreed that consumers’ expectations for order delivery have changed as a result of Amazon. This shift in consumer demand leads to decisions like Lowe's to use a third-party delivery service in order to get online orders to its customers faster, many times the next day. And unfortunately for some of the retailer's delivery workers, it cost them their jobs. However, those soon-to-be-unemployed workers shouldn't give up in despair. In fact, they should look at the opportunity in front of them. According to a report in MarketWatch, as many transportation and warehouse jobs were created in July as retail positions. Over the last 12 months — a time of U.S. expansion and job creation more broadly — the retail sector has shed 7,000 jobs. Department stores alone have slashed 23,400 jobs in the past year. However, the transportation and warehousing category has created over 90,000 positions — the "Amazon economy" in full display.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.