Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores

Walmart Express

Wal-Mart is ending its “Wal-Mart Express” program, announcing the closure of 269 locations globally, including 154 in the United States. The decision will affect more than 16,000 employees. 

Wal-Mart says the decision will reduce diluted earnings per share by 20 cents to 22 cents, with nearly all of that to be booked in the fourth quarter ending this month.

Three months ago CEO Doug McMillon told investors he was going to review the company’s global operations and shut down any underperforming stores.

Wal-Mart will close 102 of its Express format stores, which at 12,000 to 15,000 square feet are less than one-tenth the size of a typical Supercenter.

The other 52 US stores are a mixture of Supercenters, Wal-Mart’s largest format; discount stores; a grocery format called Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club, its bulk-selling wholesale chain.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” McMillon said in a company statement. “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future.”

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Wal-Mart said it was closing 115 stores internationally, including 60 in Brazil and the balance mainly smaller, money-losing locations in other Latin American countries.