Guilford, CT

Still More Permanent Walmart Closings Expected in 2022

Joel Eisenberg

Earlier this week, reports of the likelihood of further closings of the superchain were widely shared online. The explanations for the potential closings, however, have little to do with underperformance.

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WalmartWalmart.com

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Yahoo.com, SBXL.com, ScrapeHero.com, QuerySprout.com, Statistica.com, Google.com, and Corporate.Walmart.com.

Introduction

Late last month, NewsBreak published “List of Walmart Location Closings in 2022,” my article detailing store closures within the popular chain that many analysts and consumers considered surprising.

As excerpted from the article: The following Walmart stores were announced as closing in April of this year, per Walmart.com:

  • Louisville, Kentucky (2008-2022)
  • Forest Park, Ohio (date of opening unlisted - 2022)
  • Bellevue, Washington (2012-2022)

Added closings for May, per Yahoo.com’s article, “Walmart Is Closing These Stores Permanently on May 20,” included those mentioned within this excerpt: On April 19, the Town of Guilford Facebook page announced that the company had notified local officials that it would be shuttering the Walmart in Guilford, Connecticut. "The store will be closed to customers on Friday, May 20," the post read. "In the coming weeks, the store will begin clearance sales to sell as much remaining merchandise as possible." A second store closure is set to hit Ohio next month as well.

What precisely is happening that is causing individual Walmart locations to close with little or no warning?

Let us explore further.

Potential New Walmart Closures

According to a July 18 update published by SBXL.com, “Why Is Walmart Closing Stores Suddenly 2022: The Real Reasons!” the issue of the store closings are more complex than they may appear on the surface: After hearing the information, many people wonder is Walmart going out of business, but it’s just a business transformation… It will put the money into optimizing its website and app, amongst other things, to provide an efficient, high-quality service that meets the needs of these new consumers. The retail landscape is changing as customers demand more online and as online giants like Amazon continue to grow in size and scope. Walmart is doing what it needs to do to support such an industry shift by ensuring its services remain efficient, fast, and reliable!

Indeed, QuerySprout.com places recent and future Walmart closures in further perspective by referencing the height of the pandemic period. In “Is Walmart Closing Stores? (Not What You Think),” the following is stated: Throughout 2020-2021, Walmart has witnessed immense growth in online shopping in the US, with most customers now preferring to shop online rather than in brick-and-mortar stores. Last year, Walmart recorded an e-commerce growth of 97% in the second quarter compared to the previous, a figure that is considered the fastest rate on Walmart’s record. Therefore, to take advantage of the new shopping trends and make maximum profits, Walmart is closing some of its stores as the company tries to strategize and invest in e-commerce activities. 

That’s the gist. Individual locations will continue to be scrutinized based largely on cost-effectiveness, as with most any other wholesaler or retailer, and will remain open or shutter as determined by the entity’s bottom line.

As an addendum, TheMoney.co lists several Walmart locations that had closed in the previous calendar year, many unexpected as well, and the reasoning those closures — all of which remain valid today should the company pull the trigger on further individual stores: Where is Walmart out of 2021? The long period of sustained demand for goods has stretched supply chains, resulting in out of stocks and inflation, Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon said. Inflation and a labor shortage have rippled through America, forcing retailers to raise wages and hand out hefty bonuses.

The article also mentioned continuing repercussions of Covid as a carry-over issue.

Conclusion

As a targeted Google search will verify, analysts largely consider more closures coming this year for the above reasons. In the meantime, Walmart remains the highest-revenue generator of all such chains in the world.

Corporate.Walmart.com, in its report for the first quarter of 2022, disclosed results of several business metrics:

1) Company delivered strong top-line growth globally. Total revenue was $141.6 billion, up 2.4%, or 2.6% in constant currency. Growth negatively affected by $5.0 billion due to divestitures and $0.4 billion from currency. 2) Walmart U.S. comp sales grew 3.0% and 9.0% on a two- year stack. eCommerce growth was 1%, or 38% on a two- year stack. 3) Sam’s Club comp sales increased 10.2%, and 17.4% on a two-year stack. Membership income increased 10.5%. 4) Walmart International net sales were $23.8 billion, a decrease of $3.5 billion, or 13.0%, negatively affected by $5.0 billion due to divestitures, and $0.4 billion from currency fluctuations. Positive comps across all markets.

See here for that report.

In terms of location count, per ScrapeHero.com: There are 4,661 Walmart locations in the United States as of June 13, 2022. The state with the most number of Walmart locations in the US is Texas, with 516 locations, which is 11% of all Walmart locations in America.

According to Statistica.com, on a worldwide basis: Walmart had a total of 10,593 retail stores throughout the world as of January 31, 2022. Additionally, the company operated 364 distribution facilities. In total Walmart operated 10,957 stores. The decrease in stores compared to 2020 is due to the fact that in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, the company terminated its operations in the United Kingdom and Japan.

Again, for business reasons, Walmart has likewise been shuttering international locations.

The entity is in no imminent danger of going out of business, though as with any other business-savvy company they will make decisions that will be of the most benefit in the long and short-term.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA
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