Walmart Closing Locations Globally
Walmart announced it is closing 154 U.S. stores, according to a company press release, including the company’s 102 Walmart Express stores, the smallest format stores.
It is part of a global downsizing that will shutter 269 stores around the world out of Walmart's nearly 11,600 stores.
The smaller-format store format had been tested since 2011.
In addition to all the Express stores, 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers and four Sam’s Clubs will be closed.
About 16,000 associates will be affected worldwide - roughly 10,000 of whom are in the U.S. - according to the company.
It said more than 95 percent of the closed stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart, so the hope is those associates can gain employment at nearby stores. In cases where that isn't available, transition assistance will be available, the company said.
However, some in affected communities were dismayed at the decision.
Michael Huffman of Waskom, TX, called the decision to close the Walmart Express in his town "a very bad and immoral corporate decision."
He said, "Walmart ran the only other grocery store in town out of business. ... There are a lot of elderly people in Waskom who need a grocery store."
Walmart said the stores it will close "represent less than 1 percent of both global square footage and revenue." The closings represent about 2 percent of Walmart stores globally, Walmart said.
The Bentonville, AR, big-box giant garnered a fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion and employs about 2.2 million associates worldwide.