Wal-Mart to close 269 stores, four in metro Milwaukee

By KATHERINE MICHALETS - Freeman Staff

Jan. 16, 2016

The Walmart Neighborhood Market in the Town of Waukesha is one of three closing in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

TOWN OF WAUKESHA - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced Friday it will close 269 stores in the U.S. and internationally, including in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties.

The Neighborhood Market locations in the Town of Waukesha at S14-W22605 Coral Drive, Menomonee Falls at N88-W15559 Main St., and Wauwatosa, 3850 N. 124th St., will all be closed as part of the plan. A Wal-Mart store at 5825 W. Hope Ave. in Milwaukee will also be shuttered. All four stores will close their doors Jan. 28 and no other Wisconsin Wal-Mart-owned companies were listed as closing Friday.

Despite the planned closures, the company also intends to open more than 300 locations in the next fiscal year.

The international company began a review of the nearly 11,600 stores it has worldwide in 2015 and decided to close some of the underperforming locations. According to the announcement, Wal-Mart took into account a number of factors, including financial performance as well as strategic alignment with long-term plans. The affected stores, according to the announcement, represent less than 1 percent of both global square footage and revenue.

About 16,000 associates will be affected by the decision to close stores, about 10,000 of them in the U.S., according to the company. More than 95 percent of the closed stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart.

The majority of the affected Walmart stores are the Walmart Express model, while a handful of regular Wal-Mart stores and about a dozen Supercenters will be shuttered in several states, including Nevada, Alaska and Texas.

Wal-Mart said in total it will close 154 locations in the U.S., including the company’s 102 smallest format stores, Walmart Express, which had been in pilot since 2011. Instead, the company said it will focus on strengthening its Supercenters, optimizing its Neighborhood Markets and growing its e-commerce platform.

Also covered in the closures are 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers, and four Sam’s Clubs.

For those Wal-Mart workers whose positions will be eliminated, the company said Friday, it would like to place them in nearby locations. When an employee can’t be moved to a different location, he will be provided with 60 days of pay and, if eligible, severance, as well as resume and interview skills training, according to the announcement.

“The decision to close stores is difficult and we care about the associates who will be impacted,” Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., said in a 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.”

Internationally, the majority of the affected stores are in Latin America. Wal-Mart will close 115 stores outside the United States, including 60 that have already been shut down in Brazil.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” McMillon said in the 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.”

www.walmart.com

Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com