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AP Photo/Danny Johnston
Walmart is closing 269 of its stores globally.
RETAILER RETOOL

Walmart’s small-shop experiment is now officially dead

By Chase Purdy

The world’s largest retailer is re-gearing its global strategy, shuttering 269 stores and opening as many as 405 in the coming fiscal year.

More than half of the stores closing will be in the US, 102 of them smaller Walmart Express locations, according to an announcement today, Jan. 15. This will shift the retailer’s focus to its larger Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and e-commerce.

Launched in 2011, Walmart Express was a foray into the small-store format that targeted underserved pockets of rural and urban areas, offering around 11,000 products.

The 115 Walmart stores closing outside the US are primarily in Latin America, including 60 in Brazil.

In the coming fiscal year (which begins Feb. 1), the retailer intends to open as many as 60 new Supercenters in the US, as well as 95 Neighborhood Market locations. As many as 240 new stores will be opened internationally.

In all, 16,000 employees will be affected. If they cannot be relocated to other stores, Walmart says it will provide 60 days of pay and, if eligible, severance.