Walmart Shuts Ten Stores Down

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Abby Cohn, Staff Writer

Walmart recently announced the future closures of ten locations across five states in 2023.  While this annual update is not uncommon for the company, the closures have gained mass media attention for its potential causes.  The underlying reason is most likely a culmination of many factors including existing policies, shoplifting, and overall underperformance of the locations in question.

In an interview given in December 2022, Walmart’s CEO warned customers that without decreasing crime rates, specifically shoplifting, a number of locations would have to close down or raise prices.  It is no secret that shoplifting is a major issue for the retail giant, according to an article cited by Forbes “According to data released by Reuters, Walmart loses around $3 billion each year due to shoplifting.”  However, due to the enormous size of the company, this issue doesn’t seem to be as huge of a deal as initially thought, as the article later goes on to mention “That amount constitutes 1% of the retailer’s $300 billion in revenue in the US.” For the cost to benefit ratio, the actual impact prevention training and perusal would be a bad business move the company has proven they are not willing to take.  This can be seen in their lack of punishment and implementation of supplementary discouragement of under $25 thefts.  

So the closure of ten stores should not come as a surprise as they were announced in early 2023.  The consumer should have anticipated the CEO’s warning as one that would affect the general future of the company, but specifically to the defect of certain locations.  In 2023 the affected locations include the following: Brettenwood, Arkansas, Washington DC, West Virginia, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Homewood, Illinois, Plainwood Illinois, Lincolnwood, Illinois, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2 locations in Portland, Oregon, and Pilleana, Florida.  It is not however an uncommon practice for Walmart to close locations that have proved to be financially unfavorable, as the company closed 5 U.S retail stores in 2022, and over 164 locations in 2016.  

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Despite the seemingly familiar catalyst, the business tactic seems to have shocked the public or at least frightened them over the prospects of the future.  This has been highlighted through social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok, especially with the participation of politicians (particularly Mayor Ted Wheeler and Texas Senator Greg Abbott) arguing about the situation in how it relates to their respective communities, and as well as the country in its entirety.  

When asked what she thought about the situation, Brooklyn Stevenson said “Well this type of situation occurs annually and in all honesty, I don’t understand why people are going crazy over it. Walmart is a big company so it’s not like they’re going away completely. Granted, why the company does this almost every single year is unknown because there are a bunch of theories out there and no legit reason as to why this happens has been given by the actual company.”

The real reason for Walmart’s closure will remain unknown, however in this case, the frenzy of unnecessary speculation about such a cause seems to be exactly that.  The only reliable source of Walmart’s future endeavors has already stated their intentions, current situation, its causes, consequences, and future plans.  Anything can be blown out of proportion, and tshis is a perfect example of such.  With that, people take the situation with a grain of salt, and continue to stay informed about your nearest location.