Walmart closed two stores in California last week, the future of over 350 workers uncertain


San Diego, California – Two Walmart stores in the San Diego area have recently shut down, leaving over 350 workers without jobs. The stores, one in San Diego at 2121 Imperial Ave. and another in El Cajon at 605 Fletcher Parkway, closed for good on February 9, as reported by Mix106. This has impacted 357 employees, but they might have the option to move to one of the seven remaining Walmart locations in the San Diego and El Cajon areas.

Customers are feeling the loss, especially those who depended on these stores for their medication and because they were close to where they live.

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“I think it’s great for me, plus the neighborhood. It’s real convenient for me,” resident Shane Evans told NBC San Diego of the San Diego store closure. “This is where I come and get my medicine. I need to get my medicine somewhere,” said Logan Heights resident Hilda Aguiar to NBC San Diego.

Two Walmart stores in the San Diego area have recently shut down, leaving over 350 workers without jobs. Their future is still uncertain.

Walmart has closed more stores in 2023 than initially planned

Walmart has been shutting down stores across the U.S. in 2023, and this trend is continuing into 2024 with two stores in California closing down, as mentioned by The Street. This is part of a larger movement where big retail companies are closing shops, particularly in city areas, with theft being one reason for these closures.

The Street noted that in 2023, Walmart ended up closing 24 stores, which is more than the 15 they initially planned to close. These closures affected 14 states and Washington, D.C. The two stores in San Diego and El Cajon were the first to be closed in 2024.

Illinois was notably affected in 2023, with eight Walmart stores closing, including four in Chicago, as reported by The Street. Walmart stated that these stores were significantly losing money, with losses nearly doubling in the past five years, specifically pointing out the stores in Chicago.

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Despite these closures, Walmart reported a 5.2% increase in overall revenue in November 2023.

The reason given for closing the two stores in the San Diego area was that they were not performing well, according to a report by Patch.

“While our underlying business is strong, these stores haven’t performed as well as we hoped, and we were unable to reach mutual lease renewals with the property managers,” the company told Patch.

The San Diego store opened in 2013, according to Patch.

“We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at our San Diego and El Cajon stores,” Walmart spokesperson Brian Little said to Patch. “We look forward to continuing to serve them at any of our many locations across the area, on and through delivery to their home or business.”

Walmart plans to open more than 150 stores in next few years

Walmart already has a massive presence in the U.S. retail landscape but the company aims to expand even further.

Recently, the company announced plans to add or transform over 150 stores into large-format locations in the next five years. According to Josh Havens, a spokesperson for Walmart, while some of these will be expansions of existing smaller sites into Supercenters offering a wide selection of groceries and goods, the bulk of the growth will involve constructing new stores.

Details on the investment amount and specific locations for these new stores were not disclosed by Walmart. Presently, the retailer operates over 4,600 stores nationwide, along with nearly 600 Sam’s Club warehouse outlets. Sam’s Club is also on a growth trajectory, intending to launch over 30 new locations across the U.S.

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Walmart continues to expand and force the company’s ‘psychical stores’ model

As the country’s largest private employer, Walmart employs approximately 1.6 million people. Currently, about 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart. This expansion underscores Walmart’s belief in the ongoing importance of physical stores to its business model, despite the rise of online shopping giants like Amazon and Shein and the expansion of Walmart’s own online sales and third-party marketplace platforms.

Part of Walmart’s announcement reads:

During the next 12 months, we plan to remodel 650 stores across 47 states and Puerto Rico – creating tens of thousands of jobs supporting these projects. That’s in addition to the hundreds of jobs we’ll bring to a community each time we open a new store. And those jobs come with amazing perks, like tuition-free college starting on day one, or flexible scheduling and competitive paid time off. 

I’m excited to say the first two new stores under this initiative, both Neighborhood Markets, are set to open later this Spring in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. We’re also finalizing construction plans on 12 new projects we intend to start this year, along with converting one of our smaller locations to a Walmart Supercenter.

Our new and remodeled stores will reflect Walmart’s Store of the Future concept, featuring improved layouts, expanded product selections and innovative technology to help our associates better support our customers and make shopping more convenient and enjoyable. Customers love this concept in the places we’ve already rolled it out, and we’re excited to transition more and more of our fleet.

Read the full announcement here.

Monica Stanly
Monica Stanly
Monica is a key member of the US News Hub news desk, where she coordinates our daily news coverage. With a knack for spotting emerging stories and a quick decision-making ability, Monica ensures that our outlet stays ahead of the curve. Her role is crucial in maintaining the flow of news and keeping our readers informed with timely and relevant content.

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