OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Two Bay Area Wal-Mart stores are among the mega-retailer’s 269 stores slated for closure around the world this month, company officials announced.
Wal-Mart stores in Oakland and San Jose are among the 154 U.S. Wal-Mart stores expected to shutter. The 269 stores that will close comprise only a fraction of the company’s 11,000 stores worldwide. The company operates more than 5,000 stores in the U.S.
All 102 of Wal-Mart’s smallest-format concept stores, called Wal-Mart Express, are expected to close. The other big chunk is in its challenging Brazilian market, the Associated Press reports.
The stores being shuttered account for a fraction of the company’s 11,000 stores worldwide and less than 1 percent of its global revenue. Worldwide the closures will affect 16,000 workers, 10,000 of them in the U.S.
However, Wal-Mart’s global workforce is roughly 2.2 million, with 1.4 million in the U.S. alone.
Wal-Mart president and CEO Doug McMillon told investors last year that the company would be reviewing stores, citing increased competition, including from online rival Amazon.com.
“Closing stores is never an easy decision. But it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future,” McMillon said in a statement.
Wal-Mart warned last October that its earnings for the fiscal year starting next month will be down as much as 12 percent as it invests further in online operations and pours money into improving customers’ experience in the stores. The company has been building bigger fulfillment centers devoted to e-commerce orders and expanding online services.
Wal-mart officials have said they are working to ensure that its workers are placed in nearby locations.
Oakland’s only store, at 8400 Edgewater Drive, is closing Sunday at 7 p.m. and a San Jose store at 5502 Monterey Highway is closing Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.
A total of 650 people will either be able to take a job at a nearby Wal-Mart or will have to find another job. The company will be working with them to transfer within 60 days to another store. Employees who do not transfer will receive 60 days of pay and severance, if eligible, company officials said.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement following the company’s announcement, “Our focus is on supporting the company’s Oakland employees as Wal-Mart works to relocate them to one of their four remaining stores within 15 miles of the Edgewater site, or provides severance.”
Schaaf said the loss in tax revenue as a result of the closure will only be temporary and said she is confident that the site will be used in a new way that benefits Oakland residents and the Bay Area.
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