In an effort to cut costs and streamline the company, retailer Walmart will close 269 stores around the world. The company hopes to focus more on its supercenters and its online presence, so all 102 of its “Express” stores will close, as well as some Sam’s Club and Neighborhood Market stores. Of those closing, 154 are in the U.S. and 115 are in Latin America.
Consequently, the company will lay off more than 16,000 employees, 10,000 of whom are in the U.S. Walmart hopes to place laid-off employees in other Walmart stores, but those who are not hired by neighboring stores will receive 60 days of pay and severance if they are eligible, as well as resume and interview skills training.
The company has been trying to improve its stores to make shopping there more pleasurable for customers. They have also been working to increase employee wages and provide employees with more training, which has cost them more than $1 billion thus far. The stores selected to close were chosen because of poor revenue or because they did not fit with the company’s broader ideas for their business.
Walmart still intends to open 100 stores in the U.S. over the next year, at least 50 of which will be Supercenters and the rest Neighborhood Markets or Sam’s Clubs. Around the globe, Walmart plans to open up to 240 new stores as well.
The new stores will likely be built to reflect Walmart’s rebranding and their current vision and mission.
“The decision to close stores is difficult, and we care about the associates who will be impacted,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO. “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.”