Walmart Is Closing These Stores Permanently on May 20
Shoppers have become all too used to store closures over the past two years. Throughout the COVID pandemic, retailers like Lord&Taylor and Stein Mart have been forced to close up shop altogether, while others have only managed to stay afloat by significantly paring down locations. But there are a number of reason why retailers axe certain stores, and even the country's biggest retail companies are not immune. As of 2022, Walmart has more than 5,000 locations spread across the U.S., but not every location is set to make it through to the end of the year: The big-box retailer just confirmed that it is planning to close some of its stores in May. Read on to find out which Walmart locations are being shuttered next month.
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Walmart had already confirmed three store closures for the month of April.
Several Walmart stores across the U.S. are set to close their doors this week, with the retailer having previously confirmed these closures in late March and early April. Based on various reports from regional newspapers, Walmart is permanently shuttering three locations on April 22. The stores are in three different cities: Louisville, Kentucky; Forest Park, Ohio; and Bellevue, Washington.
"This decision was not made lightly and was reached only after a thorough review process," Walmart spokesman Brian Little told the Louisville Courtier Journal on March 23.
But the company just revealed that it is closing more stores in May.
The retailer isn't stopping with the three store closures in April. Walmart is also now planning to close at least two of its locations in May. On April 19, the Town of Guilford Facebook page announced that the company had notified local officials that it would be shuttering the Walmart in Guilford, Connecticut. "The store will be closed to customers on Friday, May 20," the post read. "In the coming weeks, the store will begin clearance sales to sell as much remaining merchandise as possible."
A second store closure is set to hit Ohio next month as well. Felicia McCranie, a regional Walmart spokesperson, confirmed that the company will shut down the Mayfield Heights Walmart located in the suburbs of Cleveland, cleveland.com reported on April 19. According to the news outlet, this location is also slated to close on May 20 after nearly two decades of being in business.
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"We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at our Mayfield Heights location," McCranie told the news outlet in an email. "We look forward to serving them at our other stores in the surrounding communities and on walmart.com."
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All of these locations are being closed for the same reason.
According to various officials, the store closures occurring this week and those set for May are all being attributed to the same cause: performance issues. Walmart notified the Town of Guilford that its location was being axed "mainly due to underperformance," officials wrote on Facebook. And various spokespersons confirmed to regional newspapers that the Mayfield Heights, Forest Park, Louisville, and Bellevue stores were also being shuttered due to poor financial performance.
"Our decision is based on several factors, including historic and current financial performance, and is in line with the threshold that guides our strategy to close underperforming locations," Little explained to the Louisville Courier Journal.
But Walmart officials maintain that the company is not facing mass closures nationwide.
Five separate store closures in the span of just one month might look like a red flag to customers, who worry that their local Walmart could be the next one on the chopping block. But Walmart officials have denied mass closures. When asked if plans to shutter the Louisville Walmart were part of a larger nationwide series of closures, Little told the Louisville Courier Journal that that was not the case.
"These are never easy decisions, but actively managing our portfolio is essential to maintaining a healthy business," Little said. "This is done on a case-by-case basis and only after a careful and thorough review."
At least one leader has called into question Walmart's reasoning behind the upcoming store closures, however. Mayfield Heights Mayor Anthony DiCicco told cleveland.com that while he isn't sure what meets the retailer's definition of underperforming, his city's Walmart is located in what he views as a robust shopping plaza. "It's a phenomenal location that's for sure," DiCicco told the news outlet, noting that the plaza has easy highway access and high traffic. "It's a pretty prominent spot in our city, too."