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Walmart announces store closure plans

| International retailers

Walmart has announced plans to shut down 269 of its stores across the world, as part of its reworked strategy. The group operates nearly 11,600 outlets globally.

The group said the decision was taken after a “thorough review … that took into account a number of factors, including financial performance as well as strategic alignment with long-term plans”. CEO Doug McMillon added: “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future. It’s important to remember that we’ll open well more than 300 stores around the world next year.”

The closures include 154 outlets in the US – 102 Walmart Express, 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centres, and four Sam’s Clubs. The international closures include 60 stores in Brazil, and 55 (primarily small-format) stores in other Latin American markets.

The group also said it plans to add 50-60 Supercenters and 85-95 Neighborhood Markets in the US in the fiscal year ending January 2017. Additionally, Sam’s Club plans to open in seven to 10 new locations. Internationally, Walmart intends to open between 200 and 240 stores during the coming year.

Walmart said around 16,000 staff will be impacted by the decision, about 10,000 of them in the US, but it noted that more than 95% of the domestic outlets affected are located within 10 miles of another Walmart, and it will attempt to place associates at such stores.

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