As part of its world-wide restructuring plan, Walmart announced today that it will close four stores in southeastern Wisconsin by Jan. 28, including a Supercenter store in Milwaukee's central city.
The 161,022-square-foot Walmart Supercenter store at Midtown Center, 5825 W. Hope Ave., Milwaukee; and Walmart Neighborhood Market store locations at: N88 W15559 Main St., Menomonee Falls; 3850 N. 124th St., Wauwatosa; and S14 W22605 Coral Drive, Waukesha, will close. The 42,000-square-foot Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Market store and the 38,000-square-foot Wauwatosa Neighborhood Market store opened in 2012. The 42,000-square-foot Waukesha Neighborhood Market store opened in 2013.
According to a press release issued by Wal-Mart, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company plans to close 269 stores globally and 154 locations in the United States, including the company’s 102 smallest format stores, Walmart Express, which had been in pilot stage since 2011.
Walmart instead is going to focus on strengthening its Supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets and growing the e-commerce business by expanding pick-up service for its customers, according to the release.
Bruce Westling, a principal with Milwaukee-based NAI MLG Commercial, said he believes that after the Walmart stores close the buildings will divided into small spaces and leased to smaller stores.
After the Kmart store at 18200 W. Blue Mound Road in the Town of Brookfield closed in December 2013 it was vacant for about 18 months until Hobby Lobby and Dunham’s Sports signed leases in the building. The Walmart store buildings could follow a similar path, Westling said.
“Tenant interest will be there, but you have to have cooperative owners,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect (the buildings) to be empty for long.”
In total, approximately 16,000 people will lose their jobs worldwide, including about 10,000 people in the U.S., as a result of the store closing. Walmart said most of the stores closing are located within 10 miles of another Walmart store and when possible, employees will be placed in a nearby location.
When that is not possible, people will receive 60 days of pay and if eligible, a severance, the company said.