Walmart Will Close 154 US Stores

Walmart is shuttering 154 US store locations, including 102 Walmart Express stores.

Walmart is shuttering 154 US store locations, including 102 Walmart Express stores.

The Walmart Express stores were set up as a pilot in 2011 and typically featured some groceries, general merchandise, OTC medicines, and a pharmacy.

Walmart Express locations were smaller in size, and many were placed in areas referred to as food deserts, where access to healthy food options was limited.

Around 10,000 Walmart employees in the United States will be affected by the store closures. In more than 95% of the affected communities, there is another Walmart store within an average of 10 miles.

“[T]he hope is that these associates will be placed in nearby locations,” a Walmart press release stated. “Where that isn’t possible, the company will provide 60 days of pay and, if eligible, severance, as well as résumé and interview skills training. Whether with Walmart or elsewhere, the company’s objective is to help all associates find their next job opportunity.”

Walmart posted a list of store locations that will be closing on its website, and affected states are: Alabama, California, Maryland, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Alaska, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Nevada, Florida, West Virginia, Georgia, Colorado, Kansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

There will also be Sam’s Club closures in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Rhode Island.

The corporation had taken financial performance and “strategic alignment with long-term plans” into consideration when making its decision to end the Walmart Express pilot and close the other Walmart locations, according to the press release.

The traditional Walmart locations that will close are 23 neighborhood markets, 12 supercenters, 7 stores in Puerto Rico, 6 discount centers, and 4 Sam’s Clubs.

Between store closures in the United States and abroad, Walmart will shutter a total of 269 stores, which represent less than 1% of the corporation’s global square footage and revenue.

“Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future,” stated Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon in a press release.

McMillon also noted that Walmart would be opening more than 300 new stores around the world next year.

In addition, Walmart will shift its focus more to supercenters, neighborhood markets, e-commerce, and pick-up services. The company is planning to open 50 to 60 supercenters and 85 to 95 neighborhood markets next year, and Sam’s Club is expecting to open 7 to 10 new locations.

“So, we are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it,” McMillion said.