Walmart to Close 269 Stores in the U.S. and Globally

by Katie Sloan

Bentonville, Ark. — Bentonville-based Wal-mart Stores Inc. is set to close 269 stores in the U.S. and globally.

In October 2015, the company said an active review of the portfolio was underway to ensure assets were aligned with strategy. In total, the impacted stores represent less than 1 percent of both global square footage and revenue.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” says Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart. “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future.”

The company will close 154 locations in the U.S., including 102 of the company’s smallest format stores, Walmart Express. Walmart intends to focus on strengthening the company’s Supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets, growing e-commerce and expanding pickup services for customers. Also included in the closures are 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers and four Sam’s Clubs.

The company is closing 115 stores internationally, including 60 loss-making stores in Brazil and 55 primarily small, loss-making stores in other Latin American markets.

Domestically, Walmart intends to open 50 to 60 Supercenters and 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets in Fiscal 2017. Sam’s Club also intends to open seven to 10 new locations.

The financial impact of these closures is estimated to be approximately $0.20 to $0.22 of diluted earnings per share from continuing operations, with approximately $0.19 to $0.20 expected to impact the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Approximately 75 percent of the impact relates to U.S. closings and the remaining portion involves Walmart International, with a large majority of the international impact relating to the closures in Brazil.

In total, approximately 16,000 associates will be impacted by the decision, 10,000 of which are located in the U.S. More than 95 percent of closed stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles, on average, of another Walmart, and the hope is that these associates will be placed in nearby locations. Where that is not possible, the company will provide 60 days of pay, and, if eligible, severance as well as resume and interview skills training. 

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