Walmart to Close Stores

Will close 154 U.S. stores, 115 international stores
January 15, 2016David Gill

Walmart BentonvilleBENTONVILLE, Ark.-Walmart said it will close 269 stores in the United States and internationally, following a review of its total store portfolio that began in October 2015.

The retailer will close 154 stores in the United States, including its 102 smallest-format stores under the Walmart Express banner, which have been in the pilot phase since 2011. Also to be closed with be 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers and four Sam’s Club locations. A Walmart statement said the company will now focus on strengthening its Supercenters, optimizing its Neighborhood Markets, growing the e-commerce business and expanding its store pickup services for customers who buy merchandise online.

The 115 stores that will be closed around the globe include 60 recently closed, loss-making stores in Brazil and 55 loss-making stores in other Latin American markets.

Walmart said it plans to open stores worldwide in the coming fiscal year. In the United States, Walmart intends to open 50 to 60 Supercenters and 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets in Fiscal 2017, which begins Feb. 1. In the same period, Sam’s Club plans to open in seven to 10 new locations. Globally, Walmart said it will open between 200 and 240 stores during the coming year.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “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.”

David GillDavid Gill | Senior Editor

David Gill covers home textiles, small electrics housewares, personal-care products, cleaning products, mattresses, consumer electronics and major appliances. He also reports on retailers and writes about the business and financial side of both vendors and retailers. He has more than 30 years of experience in business journalism, and has worked for other publications and websites that cover consumer products from both the manufacturer and retailer sides. His outside interests include sports (he is a big fan of the New York teams and of British soccer), cooking, movies and theater. He occasionally enjoys a good cigar as well.


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