Walmart services millions of shoppers throughout the U.S. every week. This isn’t likely to let up anytime soon: Over the next few months, we’ll be shopping at the mega-retailer’s stores for discounted Halloween candy, Thanksgiving necessities, and gifts for Christmas. But some shoppers could have their plans thwarted by new Walmart closures. Read on to find out which Walmart stores are closing, both temporarily and permanently.
Unlike many other major retailers, Walmart has not been forced to downsize significantly among pandemic setbacks and rising inflation. Nevertheless, the big-box retailer has had to make several closures for different reasons.
In the spring, Walmart permanently closed five separate stores in four states: Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut, and Washington. More recent closures were just temporary: In September, the retailer was forced to close hundreds of stores throughout Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia as Hurricane Ian made landfall in the U.S. Just this month, Walmart had at least six different locations closed throughout the country.
Now, Walmart is shaking up its store count once again.
Shoppers in different states will find themselves down a Walmart store in the coming weeks. The first closure has already hit, affecting one of the retailer’s stores in Barnwell, South Carolina. According to a post on the location’s official Facebook page, the Walmart store was temporarily closed on Oct. 28 “due to an emergency event.” Tony Dicks, the chief of the city’s fire department, told local CBS-affiliate News 19 that crews were called out to the location that same day for a fire in the Home and Garden section.
The post said that Walmart is working to “assess any damage and reopen as quickly as possible” because the location is essential to the community. But the store is still closed according to the retailer’s Store Status tracker, and the Walmart Barnwell Facebook confirmed this in an Oct. 29 update post: “Your local Barnwell is still currently closed to customers but all associates please report on your regular shift. Thank you customers for your patience, we will reopen to the public soon.”
It’s not just temporary closure Walmart shoppers have to worry about. On Oct. 24, Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reported that the city will be losing its only Walmart store in the coming weeks. According to the local news outlet, a Walmart spokesperson confirmed that the location at the Waterworks shopping center on Freeport Road will close permanently by Nov. 11.
“We have been, and will continue to be, supportive of our store leadership and associates at our Pittsburgh store,” Walmart spokesperson Felicia McCranie told Action News 4. “This decision is in no way a reflection of their hard work and customer service. We are hopeful the associates at the store will want to continue their career with Walmart by transferring to another store.”
In a separate interview, McCranie told CBS News that Walmart’s decision to close its Pittsburgh location was made after a review of thee store’s finances. “This decision was not made lightly and was reached only after a thorough review process,” she said. “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.”
This is the same reasoning that was given for the company’s earlier permanent closures in April and May of this year. Back in March, Walmart spokesman Brian Little assured the Louisville Courier Journal that underperforming store closures are “done on a case-by-case basis” and not indicative of a larger nationwide trend of shutdowns. “These are never easy decisions, but actively managing our portfolio is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” he explained at the time.