Walmart (NYSE:WMT) will close 269 stores around the world in a strategic move to focus more on its supercenters and e-commerce business, the company said Friday.
"Today's action follows a thorough review of Walmart's nearly 11,600 worldwide stores that took into account a number of factors, including financial performance as well as strategic alignment with long-term plans," Wal-Mart about its store closings. "In total, the impacted stores represent less than 1 percent of both global square footage and revenue."
154 locations will be closed in the U.S., including 102 Walmart Express stores. 60 stores are being closed in Brazil; the remaining 55 are "primarily small, loss-making stores in other Latin American markets." Wal-Mart still plans to open 50-60 supercenters and 85-95 Neighborhood Markets in the U.S. in FY17, which starts on Feb. 1. 200-240 international stores will be opened in FY17, and 7-10 Sam's Club stores.
The news shortly follows a stating Wal-Mart has closed about 60 Brazilian stores (over 10% of its local stores). The company previously said it would close "underperforming" stores accounting for 5% of its business in Brazil.
Walmart was down by 1.9% premarket to $61.85. S&P futures are down 2.4%.
Walmart has been working aggressively to grow its e-commerce presence and digital services, plus upgrade stores and provide shoppers with a more pleasant experience. In that vein, the company has also been making a big push to increase wages and provide more training to employees, an effort that's costing more than $1 billion.