Over the last few years, companies have been closing stores left and right amid the pandemic and a number of other economic challenges. This had led to permanent closures from big-name retailers like CVS and Bed Bath&Beyond. But not everything is going away permanently, thankfully, and sometimes closures are just a temporary necessity. In fact, one of the biggest retailers in the U.S. is now closing hundreds of locations in multiple states for a limited time. Read on to find out more about Walmart's closures.
Walmart has closed several stores permanently this year.
Walmart has not been spared from the recent retail apocalypse—at least, not in terms of certain locations. In the spring, the big-box retailer shuttered several of its stores permanently. Walmart closed locations in Louisville, Kentucky; Forest Park, Ohio; and Bellevue, Washington, in April. And in May, the company closed stores in Guilford, Connecticut, and Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
Walmart said these were "underperforming" locations, but Brian Little confirmed to the Louisville Courier Journal that the closures were not part of a larger nationwide trend of permanent shutdowns. "These are never easy decisions, but actively managing our portfolio is essential to maintaining a healthy business. This is done on a case-by-case basis and only after a careful and thorough review," Little told the newspaper in March.
Now, Walmart is closing more stores than ever—but not for good.
The company is closing these locations temporarily.
Your local Walmart might not be open right now, depending on where you live.
As of Sept. 30, the big-box retailer's website indicates that there are at least 120 stores and clubs currently closed throughout the U.S. The most recent closures are affecting the coast of Georgia and South Carolina. According to the company's store status locator, Walmart stores in Georgia's Peachtree City and Savannah, as well as South Carolina cities such as Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Beaufort, are among those temporarily closed right now.
Hundreds of locations have been closed, but some have already reopened.
Most of the Walmart stores temporarily closed right now are because of Hurricane Ian. The storm made landfall on Sept. 28 in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, and is now barreling toward the coast of South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, CNN reports. As it approached Florida, Walmart closed nearly 170 stores and Sam's Club locations throughout the state on Sept. 28 "out of concern for associates and customers," the Villages-News reported. As of Sept. 29, more than 240 locations were temporarily closed, per GoBankingRates.
According to the local news outlet in The Villages, Walmart did not indicate when its Florida stores would reopen. But while there doesn't appear to be a specific timeline—as many areas are still without power and facing dangerous floods—many Walmart locations in the state have since reopened based on the retailer's regularly updated store status map.
"Regarding the loss of power and reopening after the storm's passing, we're actively taking steps now to give us the best opportunity to resume operations once it's safe to do so," Walmart Director of Corporate Communication Charles Crowson told the Miami Herald.
Walmart is providing financial support to aid hurricane relief efforts.
On Sept. 29, Walmart issued a new release in regards to Hurricane Ian's already disastrous impact on the state of Florida. "Many of our associates, customers and members in the communities we serve across Florida are feeling the devastating effects of Hurricane Ian," the company said. "Our thoughts are with those impacted and we are moving quickly to help."
Per the news release, Walmart is committing up to $6 million in support to help recovery and relief efforts in the aftermath of the hurricane. "This support will include donations of essential supplies and grants to organizations providing relief on the ground," the retailer explained, adding that the company would also be accepting donations from customers. Walmart said it will "help maximize their impact" by matching donations made by customers at their registers.
"Walmart associates are also working side-by-side with state leaders and first responders, mobilizing to bring additional services to impacted communities. We will continue looking for ways to help our neighbors in Florida," the company said.