Wal-Mart to shutter 269 stores; Canadian stores unaffected

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

  • Trump Treasury pick defends foreclosure actions, asset disclosure

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump's pick as Treasury secretary, clashed with Democrats during a lengthy confirmation hearing Thursday over his handling of thousands of mortgage foreclosures and his failure to initially disclose to the committee nearly $100 million in assets and interests in a Cayman Islands corporation. Source
  • Facebook CEO trying to buy out land near his Hawaii estate

    Economic CTV News
    HONOLULU -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is going to court to gain ownership of isolated pockets of land tucked away within his sprawling estate in Hawaii. Many of the 14 parcels on the island of Kauai are less than an acre. Source
  • Uber pays US$20 million to settle claims of driver deception

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Uber Technologies is paying $20 million to settle allegations that it duped people into driving for its ride-hailing service with false promises about how much they would earn and how much they would have to pay to finance a car. Source
  • George Soros says Trump a 'would-be dictator' who will rattle markets

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Billionaire investor George Soros said Thursday he views President-elect Donald Trump as an "impostor and con man and a would-be dictator" who will rattle financial markets. Soros, a big supporter of Hillary Clinton's failed presidential campaign, said he is confident Trump will be checked by Congress and the Constitution. Source
  • Car makers concerned about Trump, says Canadian innovation minister

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A Liberal cabinet minister says he's hearing concerns from auto makers about negative effects on their industry from a Donald Trump presidency. Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains says he's had conversations with concerned automakers at the recent Detroit auto show and during his current visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Source
  • Trump uncertainty may be 'golden moment' for Canadian firms to invest: expert

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - A well-known trade expert is pitching the counter-intuitive idea that widespread uncertainty tied to president-elect Donald Trump's protectionist vows has likely created a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity for companies. Export Development Canada's Peter Hall says he's been advising business leaders to consider swooping in on investment opportunities here and abroad while others sit idle from fear over the trade and tax changes being floated in the U.S. Source
  • Trump pays $25 million to settle Trump University cases

    Economic CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- President-elect Donald Trump has paid $25 million to settle three lawsuits against his now-defunct Trump University, signalling that a judge's approval of a settlement agreement remains on track for March 30. Trump Entrepreneur Initiative LLC paid the money into escrow ahead of Wednesday's deadline, said plaintiff attorney Jason Forge, who represented people who took seminars that promised to teach success in real estate. Source
  • Manufacturing sales top expectations for November, gaining 1.5 per cent

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Canadian manufacturing sales topped expectations in November as they climbed 1.5 per cent in the month to $51.8 billion. Economists had expected a gain of 1.0 per cent for the month, according to Thomson Reuters. Source
  • NewLeaf cancels more flights amid 'schedule change'

    Economic CBC News
    Budget flight company NewLeaf has cancelled more flights in Ontario, B.C., Alberta and Nova Scotia for the next few weeks. According to a memo sent to passengers, four flights — all on Sundays — have been cancelled, effective Jan. Source
  • U.S. ends probe of fatal Tesla crash without recall: AP source

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. safety regulators will end an investigation into a fatal crash involving electric car maker Tesla Motors' Autopilot system without seeking a recall, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration scheduled a call Thursday about the investigation. Source