Wal-Mart announced that it’s planning to close 269 stores, including more than 150 in the United States. As Wal-Mart employs roughly 2.2 million people worldwide — and is currently the largest private employer in the U.S. — the news has caught many consumers by surprise. Here’s what you need to know.
5 things to know about Wal-Mart’s store closure announcement
1. How many U.S. stores will close?
More than half of the store closings, approximately 154 stores, will be U.S. locations, according to The Associated Press. That number includes 102 small-format stores called Wal-Mart Express, which were opened as a test in 2011. A dozen supercenters, and four Sam’s Clubs will also shutter. More than 95 percent of the stores selected to close are within 10 miles of another Wal-Mart.
2. When will the stores close?
Store closings are expected to begin at the end of the month. Displaced workers will likely have the opportunity to work at a nearby Wal-Mart location.
3. What stores will be closed internationally?
The majority of international closings will be in Brazil. Wal-Mart will close 60 of its 558 stores in Brazil, due to a struggling economy there. 55 more stores will close throughout Latin America.
4. What is this mean for Wal-Mart’s financial outlook?
According to The Associated Press, the store closures count for a fraction of the company’s 11,000 stores worldwide and less than 1 percent of its global revenue. Wal-Mart’s global workforce is 2.2 million, 1.4 million in the U.S. alone. CEO Doug McMillon had said the company would review the performance of all its stores and make decisions about closing stores to keep the company’s future outlook strong.
5. What will Wal-Mart focus on now?
Wal-Mart plans to open 50 to 60 supercenters, 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets and up to 10 Sam’s Clubs in the U.S. during the fiscal year. Outside the U.S., Wal-Mart plans to open 200 to 240 stores.