Friday, January 15, 2016

Walmart to close 154 US stores; likely Walmart Express stores bulk of closings

This has been a bad month for retail closures.  Macy announced it would be closing stores back a week ago and now Walmart has announced it will be closing 269 stores world wide, with 154 of them in the US.  It's anticipated that the bulk of those will be Walmart Express stores, which originally started out as a pilot program.  10,000 associates will be affected.  The plan is to try to have stores local to the closing stores absorb the associates into their stores.

Walmart Express?  Truthfully, I never knew these existed.  I did a quick Google search and found that North Carolina , South Carolina, Mississippi, and Arkansas have them.  According to an All You article from 2014, these would be concentrated in South Central and Southwestern US.  So if you've never heard of them or seen one like me, that could be why -- you don't live far enough south.

Clearance?  With the store plan to shuffle employees to neighboring stores, it's entirely possible the bulk of the stock will be redistributed as well.  Having worked retail at a competing chain about 20 years ago, it was not uncommon for our store to shift stock to other stores and vice versa. This was done to meet customer demand for items that were selling better at some stores.  It's simple inventory control.  Therefore, I don't really expect hot clearance at the stores that are affected.

Do you have a Walmart Express nearby?  Have you gone to the store to get any idea of when your store will shutter?  Please comment with any details to help other readers.

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