Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Friday that it would pull the plug on its smallest store format, Wal-Mart Express, and close 269 locations as it contends with higher costs in its home market of the United States and disappointing results overseas.
The move includes Wal-Mart's largest-ever single culling in the United States, where the company is closing 154 stores. The other 115 stores are in Latin America, including 60 in Brazil.
Wal-Mart's earnings have been under pressure due to last year's decision to raise entry-level wages as well as higher investments aimed at closing the gap online with Amazon.com Inc. At the same time, Wal-Mart is struggling overseas, where a strong U.S. dollar reduces the value of local sales.
The closings come three months after Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon disclosed plans to review global operations and shut underperforming stores. Friday's announcement marks the first step in that restructuring effort.
Wal-Mart said the closures represented less than 1 percent of its global revenue. The biggest cuts are in the United States, including all 102 Wal-Mart Express stores.
At 12,000 to 15,000 square feet, Express stores are less than one-tenth the size of a typicalWalmart Supercenter. The format had been in pilot since 2011 but did not deliver the desired results.
Moody's retail analyst Charlie O'Shea described the closures as a long-overdue "pruning."
"I've always wondered why it's taken so long to cull the U.S. store base because they really haven't done much of it over the past several years," O'Shea said.
Wal-Mart said the move would reduce earnings by 20 cents to 22 cents a diluted share, with nearly all of that to be booked in the fourth quarter ending this month. In November, it forecast a full-year profit of $4.50 to $4.65.
The company's shares fell 2.6 percent to $61.39. http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/wal-mart-closing-269-stores-1-las-vegas
The store Wal-Mart is closing (on Sunday, not much notice given) is a ghetto store, though it is right across the street from Nellis Air Force Base. They have had a murder there along with other violent crimes over the years. The people who live in that area will be hurt as there is no other big box store several miles. As for the employees, there will be no problem getting them into other Wal-Mart stores in the Las Vegas area.