The nation’s largest retailer has announced that it will be closing 154 stores in the U.S. and laying off as many as 10,000 employees as part of a campaign to close 269 stores worldwide.
The company said the closures were part of a “sharpened focus on portfolio management” and that 102 of the U.S. closures will result as it ends its Walmart Express store test program, which was started in 2011.
“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., said in a statement. “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future. It’s important to remember that we’ll open well more than 300 stores around the world next year. So we are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it.”
The company also said that the closures will affect 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers, and four Sam’s Clubs outlets.
Walmart currently has 4,500 stores in the U.S.
Despite the closings, though, the company also happens to be planning the openings of several stores, including 50 to 60 Supercenters, 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets, in addition to as many as seven new Sam’s Club stores over the next year.
The company also notes that 16,000 Walmart associates worldwide will be affected by the closings.
“The decision to close stores is difficult and we care about the associates who will be impacted,” McMillon said in the statement. “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.”
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