Wal-Mart is one of the largest retailers in the United States and for good reason. The store offers great low pricing and a wide variety of items, including groceries. It was recently announced by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that there are plans to close 269 stores, including 154 in the U.S. Nine of those stores are going to be closing throughout the state of California. This news has left many residents worried about how the closings will affect their communities.
Stores to close in California
Two stores have already closed, and five are set to close this week. The Los Angeles Wal-Mart store on Crenshaw Boulevard, the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market located in Chinatown on West Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, and store in Oakland were all closed on Sunday January 17th.
Five locations set to close on January 28th include stores in Long Beach, Altadena, Bell Gardens, Hawaiian Gardens, and San Bernardino. Many of the locations that are closing are not full service Wal-Mart locations, but rather Wal-Mart Market stores which specifically sell groceries.
How store closing change the community
Residents in the area where these stores closed are really worried about their communities since both areas are not in an economically good place. George Yu is the executive director of the Chinatown business improvement district and is upset to see the Wal-Mart location shut down.
The specific Wal-Mart marketplace that closed in Chinatown was opened back in 2013 and was the first full-service grocery store for residents who do not have access to a vehicle. Shoppers were really upset that there is no longer a grocer within walking distance, but Yu has been working to sway another grocery business to move into the old Wal-Mart location.
Discounts and deals at other locations.
The five locations in California closing on the 28th of this month, along with the hundreds of other Wal-Mart locations in the United States, will be providing huge discounts before finally closing up. Company spokesman, Randy Hargrove, stated that there was a strong interest from the public to offer a discount in the stores set to close. Of course everything will not receive the special 50% off deal. Items such as firearms, ammunition, fuel, prescriptions, jewelry, lottery tickets, alcohol, wireless plans, smartphones, and tablet devices will all remain at their normal prices.
Wal-Mart Corporation speaks out
The company has said that 95% of the stores which closed down in the United States have another location within 10 miles. Shutting down these locations has not only affected the community, but it also makes it difficult for workers of the organization. Associates who are unable to be transferred to another store will receive severance if eligible, or 60 days of pay. The reason for the closing of stores nationwide is to make room for a bigger focus on e-commerce and pick-up services for customers.
By 2017, the company hopes to open at least 50 Supercenters, 85 Neighborhood Markets, and 7 Sam’s Clubs. Seven of these new stores will open in different parts of the state including Burbank, Compton, Downey, Lodi, Red Bluff, Rialto, and Ridgecrest. Both Glendora and Riverside locations will be expanded.
Wal-Mart is looking at the bigger picture in closing down several of their stores. This definitely does not mean bad news for the business, as Wal-Mart expects to be around for a long time.