LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Walmart is expected to cut 7,000 positions in the superstore chain’s back offices across the U.S., it was reported Thursday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the cuts will affect employees in Walmart’s accounting and invoicing departments and will likely be rolled out over the remainder of 2016.

Executives told the Journal the company is expected to centralize or automate many of the affected positions in order to allow employees to interact more with shoppers.

The change has already been tested in about 500 stores earlier this year, according to the report.

Walmart is the nation’s largest private employer. The chain has nearly 170 locations across California.

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