Walmart to Shut Down 269 Stores by the End of January
Walmart has announced that it will shut its doors to 269 stores by the end of January, including 154 stores in the U.S., the company announced Friday.
The stores that will be shut down account for a fraction of their revenue, but will affect almost 10,000 U.S. employees. Included in the close are all 102 Walmart Express stores, the company’s smaller formatted convenience stores.
“While it pretends to value its employees, the reality is, for Walmart, its workers are disposable,” said Jess Levin, communications director for Making Change at Walmart (MCAW). “Sadly, these latest store closings could very well be just the beginning. This sends a chilling message to the company’s hard-working employees that they could be next – and with no one standing up for them, that is no doubt the reality.”
More than 95% of the stores closing are within 10 miles of another Walmart. According to The Guardian, the retail giant “said it is working to ensure that workers are placed in nearby locations.”
The announcement of the closures comes three months after CEO Doug McMillion told investors that Walmart’s goal was to become “more nimble” due to increased competition with online retailers such as rival Amazon.
“The decision to close stores is difficult and we care about the associates who will be impacted. We invested considerable time assessing our stores and clubs and don’t take this lightly. We are supporting those impacted with extra pay and support, and we will take all appropriate steps to ensure they are treated well,” McMillion said in a statement.
Walmart alone has its own global workforce of 2.2 million, including 1.4 million in the U.S alone. The stores will begin closures at the end of the month. The full list of stores that will be impacted can be found here.