Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Walmart to close 269 stores, including all Express stores

Walmart announced last week that it plans to close 269 stores, including all of its 102 Walmart Express small-format stores. Of the store closings, 154 will take place in the U.S.

According to Walmart, the impacted stores represent less than 1 percent of the 11,600 stores worldwide and will impact 16,000 employees (10,000 in the U.S.).

The small-format stores, typically in the 12,000 - 16,000 square foot range, began to roll out in 2011. Walmart envisioned thousands of Express stores and hoped they would compete well with discounters like Dollar General.

Instead, Walmart will now focus on strengthening Supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets, growing its e-commerce business and expanding pick-up services.

The U.S. closures include 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers, and four Sam's Clubs. There are no closures planned for the Greater Philadelphia Region.

Walmart said that more than 95% of the closing stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart.

The company plans to open 50-60 Supercenters, 85-95 Neighborhood Markets, and 7-10 Sam's Club locations in fiscal 2017.

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