Walmart currently operates nearly 11,600 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries but recently the retailer announced that it is shutting down its Walmart Express format. This means that Walmart is closing all 102 stores of its smallest format, which had been in pilot since 2011, in the United States.
During 2016 Walmart is closing a total of 269 stores. 154 of the locations are in the United States and the company says the stores it plans to close are generally poor performers, and most are within 10 miles of another Walmart.
– Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business. Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future, says Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart.
Plans to Open More Than 300 Stores
In total approximately 16,000 associates will be impacted by the decision, about 10,000 of them in the US but the company aims to place the majority in nearby Walmarts.
The closings represent just over 2% of the company's 11,600 stores worldwide and Walmart hopes it will help the company to focus on strengthening Supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets, growing the e-commerce business and expanding Pickup services for customers.
– 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, says Doug McMillon.