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Goings and Comings at Walmart.com

Walmart.com, a joint venture of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and venture capital firm Accel Partners, is laying off 24 of 250 employees, but expects to hire more than 50 others for engineering and technology jobs.

The online retail operation is sharpening its focus, working to improve its design and make the check-out process easier. Most of those laid off are in the areas of marketing and merchandising.

Walmart.com spokeswoman Cynthia Lin told Internetnews.com that the job cuts were not made because of funding concerns, but rather because the company is "refocusing its resources based on what we learned from the holiday season."

She said the company has 52 open positions in engineering, site design and product management. Lin also said that the company is fine-tuning its checkout procedure, its search function and its product assortment.

In fact, CEO Jeanne P. Jackson said in published reports that the e-tail operation has learned that customers tend to be reluctant to buy certain things online, especially small-ticket items in the baby, apparel and beauty-products categories, where shipping charges make up a large percentage of the total cost. As a result, Walmart.com will need fewer marketing and merchandising employees in those areas.