Walmart is closing 154 stores in the United States. A total of 10,000 American workers will soon be out of a job. The Republican presidential candidates maintained the economy is declining rapidly during the GOP presidential debate last night. The Walmart store closings announced today, and the dismal stock market figures at the opening bell, indicate the financial health of the country will remain a hot topic on the 2016 campaign trail.
Walmart is closing 269 stores around the globe. More than half of the closures will occur in the United States and another sizable chunk of the Walmart store closings will occur in Brazil, Fox News reports. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kmart, Target, and Macy's all announced a significant number of store closings will also occur during the first quarter of 2016.
Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, more than half of them in the U.S. https://t.co/VjpHNQtdN1 pic.twitter.com/OE1G5i0pLhThe big box giant currently operates about 11,000 stores around the world. Walmart has about 4,500 stores in the United States and employs more than one million workers. On a global scale, the discount retailer provides paychecks for approximately 2.2 million employees.
— Chicago Tribune Biz (@chibreakingbiz) January 15, 2016
About 16,000 Walmart employees will be impacted by the store closures. Last quarter Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the company was reviewing the performance of its stores due to the expanding amount of competition it is experiencing. Online retailer Amazon was noted as one of the discount chain's top rivals.
"No doubt our business has become both large and broad," McMillon said last fall when addressing the ongoing review of store performance. "It is more important now than ever that we evaluate our portfolio."
The Walmart stores slated for closure will reportedly be smaller venues, which are often called Walmart Express stores. According to a Chicago Tribune report, approximately 95 percent of the 154 Walmart store closings will happen in locations that are situated about 10 miles from another store. In some suburban areas, multiple Walmart stores are located within a single municipality or county. But there are still counties in the United States which are not host to a single Walmart, to the delight of small business owners and chain retailers like Dollar General and Family Dollar.
The big box giant previously predicted that its earnings for the new fiscal year will decrease by about 12 percent. The Walmart company is currently in the midst of enhancing its online retail venue and investing funds into projects designed to improve the shopping experience for customers. Both Target and Kmart tried similar measures to beef up their bottom line.
Kmart offers year-around layaway promotions which include the ability of shoppers to place items in their virtual cart and put them in layaway while browsing the store website dressed in pajamas from the comfort of their own homes. Once the layaway bill is paid off, the items can be shipped to them, possibly free or at a low cost, or picked up at their local store.
Target began offering curbside pickup for items purchased online to improve Internet purchase to in-store pickup item readiness and real-time alerts for customer convenience. The programs designed to increase customer convenience may have boosted Christmas sales, but apparently did not generate enough revenue to reverse or prevent store closures.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon answers questions about sharpened focus on stores https://t.co/UhkMUDTMoh pic.twitter.com/1nPdeLkZdiThe Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer will reportedly attempt to transfer employees in open positions are other area Walmart stores. The store closings are scheduled to begin by the end of January.
— Walmart Newsroom (@WalmartNewsroom) January 15, 2016
What do you think about Walmart closing 154 stores in the United States? Are the economic collapse concerns voiced by Republican presidential candidates coming true?
[Image via VVOE/Shutterstock]