RETAIL DECLINE: Walmart has shut down 9 stores so far this year

06/13/2024 // Laura Harris // 740 Views

Tags: Bubble, chaos, Chicago, Collapse, debt bomb, debt collapse, economic riot, finance riot, grocery, Inflation, job loss, local economy, market crash, money supply, panic, Portland, retail apocalypse, retail giant, risk, store closures, Walmart

A retail analyst's prediction eight years ago about the retail apocalypse turned out to be true, as Walmart recently announced the shuttering of nine "underperforming" stores in four states this year alone.The first two stores to close this year were in California, with the San Diego and El Cajon locations shutting their doors on Feb. 9. These were followed by a third California store in West Covina on Mar. 29.
A Walmart spokesperson noted that the retail giant have "nearly 5,000 stores" across the United States "and unfortunately some do not meet our financial expectations."
"While our underlying business is strong, this store hasn't performed as well as we hoped," the spokesperson added.
Subsequent closures in Towson, Maryland and Columbus, Ohio followed similar reasoning, as did the Granite Bay, California store, which closed on Apr. 12. The Fremont, California store became the fifth in the state to close on May 24 and the Milwaukee, Wisconsin location shut its doors on May 17. The ninth and latest closure occurred on June 7 in Aurora, Colorado.
Additionally, Walmart announced in April that it would shut down its Walmart Health and Walmart Virtual Care services after around five years of operation, leading to the shuttering of 51 health centers across five states and the discontinuing of virtual care services.
In line with all this turmoil, Walmart has laid off hundreds of corporate employees while hundreds more store employees were transferred to different branches. (Related: Walmart store closures leave local communities grappling with economic and social consequences.)
All of these closures were predicted by retail experts like Neil Saunders, the CEO of retail research agency and consulting firm Conlumino, in 2016. Back then, Saunders argued that the closures began in 2016 and are part of a broader trend – a retail apocalypse.
"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," Saunders said. "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."
Retail apocalypse is happening nationwide

The store closure is not isolated among Walmart stores.
Earlier this June, grocery chain Stop & Shop, Walmart's rival, also announced the closure of its "underperforming" stores during its parent company Ahold Delhaize's "Strategy Day," where a four-year plan for its brands was outlined.
The company based in Massachusetts has almost 400 stores in its home state and four others – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The stores are about 55,000 to 75,000 square feet (sq. ft.) – the standard size for a U.S. supermarket, bigger than Walmart Neighborhood Markets (about 40,000 sq. ft.) but are dwarfed by Walmart Supercenters that span 180,000 sq. ft. in size. It has "remodeled" 190 stores and plans to spend $1 billion on more improvements and price cuts to attract shoppers.
But despite all these strong factors, Ahold Delhaize CEO JJ Fleeman argued that it is "not enough and it's not where we want to be or need to be."
Aside from Stop & Shop, major brands like Macy's, Walgreens, Foot Locker and 7-Eleven are also shutting down locations. Additionally, national coffee and upscale grocery chain Foxtrot announced in April that it would close all its stores immediately. Meanwhile, Express, a common mall retailer, filed for bankruptcy in April and announced it would close 95 Express locations along with all its UpWest stores. At the beginning of May, teen fashion chain Rue21 also declared it would close all 543 of its U.S. stores.
Discount stores such as Family Dollar and the now-bankrupt 99 Cents Only have been the hardest hit, along with drugstores like CVS and Rite Aid. By the end of April, U.S. retailers had closed nearly 2,600 stores. And if closures continue at the current rate, the total could reach 7,800 by the end of 2024, which is nearly 40 percent more than in 2023.
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RETAIL DECLINE: Walmart has shut down 9 stores so far this year –