On Friday, retail giant Walmart announced that it would soon be closing a total of 269 of its worldwide bricks-and-mortar outlets. The international company is the latest retailer to announce mass closures of stores as Amazon and other e-commerce platforms continue to gain market share in areas traditionally dominated by physical locations.
The 269 stores to be closed will include 154 stores in the United States, with the remainder being locations spread across Walmart’s international markets. In total, Walmart currently operates 11,598 locations worldwide, meaning that the closures will account for less than one percent of the total. The closure of the stores will be accompanied by the discontinuation of Walmart’s Express stores, smaller versions of traditional Walmart stores originally intended to offer convenience in more urban areas. In total, roughly 16,000 employees are expected to lose their positions as the store closings occur.
The sudden store closings, however, are expected to be offset by the opening of more than 300 brand-new locations worldwide over the course of the next year, including between 142 and 165 in the United States itself. “..we are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it,” said Dough McMillon, the current president and CEO of Walmart. Mr. McMillon also said that the company would continue to focus on the growth of its e-commerce business in order to remain competitive with Amazon and other predominantly online retailers.
By Brandonrush (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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