Walmart Is Closing Multiple Locations, Starting Feb. 17
LOCAL COMMUNITIES AREN'T HAPPY TO HEAR ABOUT THESE WALMART CLOSURES.
If you do your weekly grocery shopping at Walmart, you're not alone. According to data from Zippia, in the U.S., a single Walmart Supercenter sees an average of 10,000 customers a day. The retailer is a community staple—and with its reliable low prices, it's also a go-to spot to help ease the burden of inflation. But is your local Walmart long for this world? The company just announced that it is getting rid of multiple stores, starting Feb. 17. Read on to find out where Walmart is closing locations in the coming weeks.
READ THIS NEXT: Major Grocery Chains, Including Aldi, Are Closing Stores, Starting Feb. 12.
Three stores are closing in the Chicago area.
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Chicago is losing three Walmart stores in the area, according to CBS Chicago, with the first one shuttering next Friday. The outlet reported that the Lincolnwood Walmart Pickup location at 6840 McCormick Boulevard will see its final day on Feb. 17.
"This decision was not made lightly and was reached only after a thorough review process," Walmart told CBS. "As this is a pickup and delivery only location, we have taken what we learned from this location and made it part of how we operate Pick-up and Delivery from our surrounding stores."
Next month, two stores in the Chicago suburbs are also departing, in Homewood and Plainfield. "We have nearly 5,000 stores across the U.S. and unfortunately some do not meet our financial expectations. While our underlying business is strong, these specific stores haven't performed as well as we hoped," Walmart told CBS. "There is no single cause for why a store closes and our decision is based on several factors, including historic and current financial performance, and is in line with the threshold that guides our strategy to close underperforming locations."
Both the Homewood and Plainfield locations are slated to close by March 10, the retailer said, and employees will be invited to transfer to other Walmart stores.
Local customers are concerned.
Local Walmart shoppers aren't happy to hear about the closures, Fox 32 Chicago reported, and they're particularly upset about the Homewood location, which is "always busy."
"This is a big hit to the community because, I mean, Walmart has great prices, honestly," shopper Angel Johnson said. "I can't believe a Walmart is closing."
Even Homewood mayor Rich Hofeld spoke up about the closure. "The Village was surprised by this news and will work with the property owner to fill the space as soon as possible," he said in a statement.
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New Mexico is losing a Walmart store, too.
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According to KOB, a Walmart in the southeast region of Albuquerque is also closing in the near future. A Walmart spokesperson said that the store, on San Mateo Boulevard, will close by Friday, March 10 as well.
"We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at our Albuquerque location," the spokesperson told the outlet. "We look forward to serving them at our other stores in the surrounding communities and on walmart.com."
The Walmart spokesperson later said that the retailer doesn't plan to close additional stores in the Albuquerque area, and employees at the San Mateo Walmart will be able to transfer to other locations.
As in Chicago, many locals are worried about Walmart's exit, which will render the area a food desert. "It really takes away the last option for fresh food and grocery stores for a big stretch of East Central and essentially creates the food desert that we have been concerned about for years," Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis told the Albuquerque Journal.
Customers reiterated that this Walmart is the only grocery store within walking distance for low-income families in the area, and nearby retailers don't offer nutritious options. "There are no other grocery stores nearby, just junk food," frequent shopper Marcelina Romero told the Albuquerque Journal.
A Wisconsin store is also closing.
Shutterstock / Jonathan Weiss
A Walmart store on West Silver Spring Drive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will also see its final day before March 10, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal.
A Walmart spokesperson provided similar reasoning for the store closure, saying it's part of a review process, and added that the retailer is "grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of sereving them at our West Silver Spring Drive location."
Echoing concerns in Chicago and Albuquerque, it's clear that the Walmart closure will be a detriment to the community.
"It's infuriating that such a massive, resource-rich, and wealthy Fortune 100 enterprise like Walmart cannot keep such an important location open," Milwaukee Alderman Mark Chambers Jr. said in a statement to the Milwaukee Business Journal. "The move not only negatively impacts shoppers, pharmacy customers and store workers, but I fear it will only add to the food desert issues that we are seeing in that area."
Chambers confirmed that he and the Department of City Development are working to find a replacement for Walmart's current space.
Best Life reached out to Walmart for comment on the closures, but has yet to hear back.