republican debate

Walmart closes more locations; dollar stores in demand

  • Walmart announced plans to close more than 20 stores nationwide in 2023
  • Expert: Big companies to close more stores; Dollar stores on the rise
  • Customer: "Never in a million years did you think [Walmart] would close"

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (NewsNation) — Walmart has been faced with some tough decisions lately, closing more than 20 stores across the country so far this year.

In Overland Park, customers said they are shocked after the Walmart Neighborhood Market shut down.

Walmart customer Robb said it was a “total shocking surprise,” while customer Camille Tague said the closure was “really sad.”

Dozens of people parked their cars in the Walmart lot and walked up to the doors only to find a sign that told them the store was closed permanently.

“It’s closed forever,” Alexus Inscho said.

The Overland Park Walmart had been there since the early 2000s, and customers who spoke with NewsNation said it was always packed.

And given that Walmart’s earnings are up this year, people have said the closings just don’t make sense.

“Never in a million years did you think this would close or see a Walmart closing. Why? It’s just Walmart,” Antonique Flemmons said. “Walmart has been around my whole life and you go there for things you need and you don’t think twice about it being open or closed.”

However, shoppers in Overland Park, one of the largest cities in the state, won’t have to go far to find another Walmart Neighborhood Market — there’s another one just two miles up the road and a Walmart supercenter just two miles in the opposite direction.

It’s one of at least 20 underperforming stores nationwide that the company said is shutting its doors this year. Four of those closures were in Chicago with the company citing poor performance.

“We thought we had turned a corner because we always heard a rumor the store was losing money for years,” Chicago Alderman Howard Brookins said.

Other big box stores have tightened their belts as well. Target, Best Buy and Macy’s have all reported some brick-and-mortar closures.

Target financials show fewer people have been visiting the store, and executives expect store theft to cost them about $500 million.

And as more shoppers turn to online retail, more companies may close their storefronts.

“We are going to see that continued pressure on retailers to close their doors, especially in those urban areas,” economist Dan Roccato said. “By and large, we’ve got too much retail space in this country right now.”

By contrast, dollar stores are ramping up.

Dollar General reportedly plans to open more than 1,000 stores this year and Dollar Tree expects to open more than 600.

Despite Dollar General’s plan to open more stores nationwide, the company saw its shares fall this past week. It’s a sign that inflation still has a tight grip on Americans in this economy, and even the most cost-conscious stores may not be enough.


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