Walmart Is Closing Even More Locations on March 24
The mega-retailer will be adding to its list of shuttered stores in the coming weeks.
Your local Walmart can be an essential shopping resource no matter where you live. The iconic store has maintained a solid customer base over time thanks to its relatively low prices, a wide selection of products, and innovative additions that can improve the customer experience. But even the nation's largest retailer isn't immune to economic realities and maintaining its bottom line, which occasionally can mean cutting back on the number of stores it operates. And now, Walmart says it will be closing even more locations as of March 24. Read on to learn where the chain will be shuttering in the coming weeks.
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Walmart just confirmed it's closing two more store locations before the end of next month.
On Feb. 22, Walmart announced that it would be closing two more of its locations, both of which are in Portland, Oregon. The stores at Hayden Meadows and East Port Plaza are slated to shutter to the public by March 24, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to Best Life in an email. The pharmacy at each store will also be closing, with the company saying that staff will be working with customers to transfer their prescriptions to another location.
The company did not specify a reason for the closures, saying it only made the decision after a thorough review process. A Walmart source said the retailer's underlying business remains strong, but that it uses several determining factors when pinpointing underperforming locations, including historic and current viability.
In a statement to Best Life, Lauren Willis, global communications director for Walmart in the Western U.S., said, "We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at our Hayden Meadows and Eastport Plaza locations. We look forward to serving them at our other stores in the surrounding communities and on Walmart.com."
The company says it remains "supportive" of its affected employees.
Besides the loss of store locations, the impending closures will also affect 580 workers employed by the company, The Oregonian reports. However, a company source said Walmart would continue to be supportive of all associates who are affected by the changes by allowing them to transfer to another nearby store.
The Walmart source says that it employs thousands of associates in the area, including 45 stores in Oregon alone. And while other determining factors were considered, the decision to close the locations is not a reflection of the associates' hard work and customer service.
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Walmart recently announced it would be closing several other locations in the coming weeks.
Portland isn't the only place where Walmart stores will be closing in the near future. The company recently announced it would shutter locations in the coming weeks after they were deemed "underperforming" during a review process, Footwear News reported.
On Feb. 17, the company closed two Walmart Pickup locations in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Lincolnwood, Illinois, Insider reported. The stores were the last two remaining of its standalone pickup concept after the closure of a location in Metairie, Louisiana, in 2022.
The company also confirmed that a handful of other full-format stores would close by March 10. Two more Illinois locations—including a Walmart Supercenter in Homewood and one in Plainfield—are slated to shutter, according to CBS Chicago. Florida will also lose a Walmart Neighborhood Market location in Pinellas Park, the Tampa Bay Times reported. And Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will each lose a Walmart Supercenter by the same date.
Walmart's CEO recently said the company was "taking a cautious outlook" going into the year.
The latest Walmart store closings in Portland and beyond come in the wake of the company's latest earnings call, which outlined its forecast for the year ahead. According to John David Rainey, chief financial officer and executive vice president for Walmart, the company is fresh off a strong holiday season that saw an 8.3 percent increase in sales at U.S. stores. But the retailer isn't holding out hope that its recent successes will continue.
"There's just a lot that we don't know," John R. Furner, president and chief executive officer for Walmart U.S., said on the call. "We could tilt into a recession. We don't know what happens to consumer spending. We don't know what happens to layoffs, household income. And so given that we're so early into the year and there's a lot of unknowns right now, we're simply taking a cautious outlook."
Rainey pointed out similar issues the company will likely face in the coming months. "We find ourselves in a similar position to each of the last three years, where there is a great deal of uncertainty looking out over the balance of the year," he said on the call. "While the supply chain issues have largely abated, prices are still high and there is considerable pressure on the consumer."