Wal-Mart lays off 650 workers at optics lab

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced Friday that it will shutter an optical lab in Ohio, cutting 650 jobs, as it looks to cut costs by folding its operations into facilities in Indiana and Arkansas.

The world's largest retailer said in a statement that eyewear orders previously sent to the facility in Lockbourne, Ohio, will be dispersed to labs in Crawfordsville, Ind., Fayetteville, Ark., and Dallas.

Wal-Mart also has contracts with Essilor of America and Carl Zeiss Vision, which both operate optical labs in the U.S. and Mexico.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart said the Indiana and Arkansas facilities will add a total of approximately 100 jobs.

"The decision, along with expansions and improvements to our other eyewear manufacturing facilities, will allow Wal-Mart to reduce costs and operate our optical business more efficiently," Volker Heimeshoff, divisional manager of health and wellness for Wal-Mart's U.S. division, said in a statement.

Wal-Mart said the employees who are being laid off will receive regular paychecks and benefits for the next 60 days and will be eligible for positions at area Wal-Mart and Sam's Club locations. Eligible associates will receive a severance benefit.

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