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Walmart just announced that it is closing 269 stores across the world, including 154 US locations. USA Today reports that the chain is giving up on Walmart Express stores, the smallest store in its lineup. Those stores have been in the pilot testing stage since 2011, and now all 102 Walmart Express stores are set to close.
The closures will affect approximately 10,000 Walmart employees in the US, and some will have the opportunity to transfer to other stores.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement that Walmart is "committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it." The brand decided to close the locations based on financial performance and its overall brand strategy.
Walmart plans to open 300 stores in the coming fiscal year, and invest in in-store pickup and stores that are 30,000 square feet, a strategy known as Walmart's Neighborhood Market format.
While Walmart is shutting down its smallest stores, Target is embracing the small store format. The majority of the 15 stores Target will open in the next two years will be small stores in urban areas.