Article Image

IPFS News Link • Business/ Commerce

STORE CLOUDS Walmart store closures are a warning sign of retail apocalypse...

•, Carsen Holaday

One state has seen five Walmarts close their doors

WALMARTS are closing across the country - and retail experts say the cuts are signals of a bleak future for shoppers.

The multi-million dollar corporation has closed nine stores so far this year, which could be a warning sign for other retail giants.

Walmart, which operates 5,000 stores in the US, is also reportedly laying off hundreds of corporate employees as the company urges remote workers to come into work.

Retail analyst Neil Saunders told Yahoo that Walmart's closures in 2016, captured by retail photographer Nicholas Eckhart, were the beginning of a pattern in store cuts.

"The blunt truth is that while stores remain a vital part of the retail mix, they are not quite as relevant as they used to be," the expert told the outlet.

"Walmart's decision is part of a larger shift that will be played out across all parts of the retail sector over the coming year and beyond."

Saunders' prediction turned out to be largely true as nine Walmarts are closing this year across four states.

The first two stores to close were in California - in San Diego and El Cajon on February 9.

"We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at our San Diego and El Cajon stores," Walmart spokesperson Brian Little told Business Insider in January.

"We look forward to continuing to serve them at any of our many locations across the area, on, and through delivery to their home or business."

A third California store closed on March 29 in West Covina. A Walmart spokesperson told Los Angeles-based KTLA that the store had underperformed.

"We have nearly 5,000 stores across the U.S. and unfortunately some do not meet our financial expectations," Walmart told the outlet.

"While our underlying business is strong, this store hasn't performed as well as we hoped."