Wal-Mart to shutter 269 stores, 154 of them in the U.S.

NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, more than half of them in the U.S. and another big chunk in its challenging Brazilian market.

See Full Article

The stores being shuttered account for a fraction of the company's 11,000 stores worldwide and less than 1 per cent of its global revenue.

More than 95 per cent of the stores set to be closed in the U.S. are within 10 miles of another Wal-Mart. The Bentonville, Arkansas, company said it is working to ensure that workers are placed in nearby locations.

The store closures will start at the end of the month.

The announcement comes three months after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CEO Doug McMillon told investors that the world's largest retailer would review its fleet of stores with the goal of becoming more nimble in the face of increased competition from all fronts, including from online rival Amazon.com.

"Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business," McMillon said in a statement. "Closing stores is never an easy decision. But it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future."

Wal-Mart operates 4,500 in the U.S. Its global workforce is 2.2 million, 1.4 million in the U.S. alone.

Wal-Mart has warned that its earnings for the fiscal year starting next month will be down as much as 12 per cent as it invests further in online operations and pours money into improving customers' experience.

Of the closures announced Friday, 154 locations will be in the U.S., including the company's 102 smallest-format stores called Wal-Mart Express, which were opened as a test in 2011.

Wal-Mart Express marked the retailer's first entry into the convenience store arena. The stores are about 12,000 square feet and sell essentials like toothpaste. But the concept never caught on as the stores served the same purpose as Wal-Mart's larger Neighborhood Markets: fill-in trips and prescription pickups.

Also covered in the closures are 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount stores and four Sam's Clubs.

Wal-Mart will now focus in the U.S. on supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, the e-commerce business and pickup services for shoppers.

The retailer is closing 60 loss-making locations in Brazil, which account for 5 per cent of sales in that market. Wal-Mart, which operated 558 stores in Brazil before the closures, has struggled as the economy there has soured. Its Every Day Low price strategy has also not been able to break against heavy promotions from key rivals.

The remaining 55 stores are spread elsewhere in Latin America.

Wal-Mart said that it's still sticking to its plan announced last year to open 50 to 60 supercenters, 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets and 7 to 10 Sam's Clubs in the U.S. during the fiscal year that begins Feb. 1. Outside the U.S., Wal-Mart plans to open 200 to 240 stores.

The financial impact of the closures is expected to be 20 cents to 22 cents per diluted earnings per share from continuing operations with about 19 cents to 20 cents expected to affect the current fourth quarter. The company is expected to release fourth quarter and full year results on Feb. 18.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fell $1.12, or 1.7 per cent, to 61.94 in morning trading.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Asian stocks weaker as failure of U.S. health care reform lingers

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Asian stocks got off to a weak start on Monday as caution among investors prevailed with lingering doubts about the future policy agenda of the new U.S. administration following the health care reform failure. Source
  • Home buyers and tenants leaving B.C.'s Lower Mainland for smaller towns

    Economic CTV News
    POWELL RIVER, B.C. - David Repa recalls the shock he felt sitting down at a bank after selling his Vancouver business in 2013 and realizing for the first time how much of "a joke" his prospects were of owning a home in the city. Source
  • 'We're all hurting': Calgary arts cut to the bone as corporate funds dry up

    Economic CTV News
    Calgary's performing arts scene has become a casualty of corporate cost-cutting as the city's economic doldrums drag into a third year, prompting organizations to band together to seek more municipal support. The energy sector has long been a stalwart patron of the arts in the white-collar heart of the oilpatch. Source
  • Seattle plant failure triggers major sewage spill

    Economic CTV News
    SEATTLE -- Millions of gallons of raw sewage and untreated runoff have poured into the United States' second-largest estuary since a massive sewage treatment plant experienced equipment failures that forced it to stop fully treating Seattle's waste. Source
  • Leaving airline seatbelt sign on for too long could pose risk: expert

    Economic CTV News
    An airline safety expert says plane crews may be unwittingly compromising flight safety by leaving seatbelt signs on too long. Greg Marshall suggests passengers may not see the need to remain buckled up if the signs remain illuminated during a smooth ride or if no one has explained to fliers what's going on. Source
  • Shoppers computer crash and budget zingers: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

    Economic CBC News
    If you've been too busy to follow the consumer news this week, here's our cheat sheet. And you can get the Marketplace newsletter in your inbox every week. What you need to know about the budget Source
  • Will NYC invite the 'Fearless Girl' to stay on Wall Street?

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Should the "Fearless Girl" stand up to Wall Street's charging bull forever?Scroll down or click here to vote in our poll of the day NEW YORK -- Should the "Fearless Girl" stand up to Wall Street's charging bull forever? Source
  • Russia says oil production cuts may continue to boost prices

    Economic CTV News
    KUWAIT CITY -- Russia's energy minister says there's "94 per cent" compliance on a six-month oil production cut among OPEC members and non-cartel nations, as well as discussions about continuing the cuts to boost crude prices. Source
  • OPEC, non-cartel nations may extend oil cut another 6 months

    Economic CTV News
    KUWAIT CITY -- OPEC members and non-cartel nations are leaving open the possibility of a six-month extension on a deal to reduce oil production, according to a statement Sunday by a committee of ministers from OPEC and other oil-producing nations. Source
  • Iran imposes sanctions on 15 U.S. companies

    Economic CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran - Iran has imposed sanctions on 15 American companies over their alleged support for Israel, terrorism and repression in the region. A Foreign Ministry statement carried by the state-run IRNA news agency Sunday said the companies are barred from any agreements with Iranian firms and that former and current directors will not be eligible for visas. Source