Walmart Shuttering 154 Stores in the U.S. after Raising Wages

Here is another example of the great recovery we’ve had under Obama. According to Tribune Media: “Walmart to close 269 stores, 154 in U.S.; 10,000 employees impacted.”

Walmart is closing 154 stores in the U.S., the company announced on Friday.

As part of a “sharpened focus on portfolio management,” the 154 U.S. closures include 102 of its Walmart Express stores, which were opened during a test that started in 2011.

The other closures include 23 Neighborhood Market stores, 12 Supercenters, four Sam’s Club locations, six discount stores, and seven stores in Puerto Rico.

The company said 95 percent of the stores impacted are within 10 miles of another Walmart.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future. It’s important to remember that we’ll open well more than 300 stores around the world next year. So we are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it.”

Walmart intends to open 50 to 60 Supercenters and 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets over the next 13 months. In the same period, Sam’s Club plans to open at least seven new stores.

Walmart has a vested interest to put a positive spin on this news. It is true that there are worse stores to close. At least, they’re not all Supercenters. Still, when Walmart started their “test” of Walmart Express stores they were hoping that they would succeed and there would be reason to open more. The economy wouldn’t allow it.

Perhaps Walmart’s recent policy change also had something to do with it. This showed up in my Twitter feed:

And someone commmented:

Yes. Imagine that! What a complete surprise.

Of course, there are so many variables that I can’t prove the raised wages caused all the stores closing. There are certainly other things in the Obama economy that might be hurting consumer demand and raising expenses. Some will look at the planned new stores and say that they prove the higher wage is fine.

Maybe. But Walmart would have preferred, if possible, to not have to close any stores while expanding with more.