March 27, 2009 / 4:38 PM / 9 years ago

Wal-Mart closing optical lab, 650 jobs affected

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is closing an optical lab in Ohio that employs roughly 650 workers, the world’s biggest retailer said on Friday.

A Wal Mart store front is seen in Toronto March 5, 2009. REUTERS/ Mike Cassese

The discount retailer said the lab currently processes eyewear orders for the vision centers that it operates in its U.S. Walmart stores.

“This decision along with expansions and improvements to our other eyewear manufacturing facilities will allow Walmart to reduce costs and operate our optical business more efficiently,” Volker Heimeshoff, divisional manager of health and wellness for Walmart U.S., said in a statement.

Wal-Mart said workers affected by the plant closure would receive regular paychecks and benefits for the next 60 days and were eligible for positions at nearby Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.

The retailer also said that orders sent to the Ohio lab will be dispersed to other facilities. Wal-Mart said it was expanding its optical labs in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and adding approximately 100 new jobs.

Reporting by Nicole Maestri; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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