retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Walmart announced this morning that it plans to close 269 stores around the world, including 154 in the US. The US closings include 102 Walmart Express stores, 23 Neighborhood Market stores, 12 Supercenters and four Sam's Club stores.

CNBC writes that Walmart "is closing 115 stores, including 60 recently shuttered, unprofitable stores in Brazil, which represent about 5 percent of that market's sales. The remainder of the stores are primarily small, money-losing stores in other Latin American markets."

The company says that this is part of a general retooling and re-evaluation of its business, eliminating unprofitable stores and units that may have been cannibalizing sales from other Walmart stores. The company says it plans to open more than 400 stores in the coming year, with CNBC characterizing this as a shift "toward Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets in profitable locations."

CNBC also notes that 2016 has begun with a raft of store closings announced by retailers that include Macy's and Sears/Kmart.
KC's View:
In a business climate that does not reward waste and inefficiency, it makes sense for Walmart to make these moves, which yet again illustrate the degree to which CEO Doug McMillon is willing to make tough moves to position the company for long-term success.

It isn't mentioned in any of the coverage to this point, but I think that the natural next step will be for Walmart to announce the degree to which it wants to integrate its bricks-and-mortar business with online operations ... and getting rid of inefficient stores may be the first step toward expanding click-and-collect and delivery operations chain-wide in the US.