Walmart to Close 269 Stores Globally
Walmart has announced it will close 269 stores globally as it struggles to compete with online retailers like Amazon.
The news came on January 15 as US retail figures showed lower than expected holiday sales figures across the market.
Sales rose just 3% in November and December, falling short of the expected 3.7% growth according to the National Retail Federation.
The Walmart closures will affect 10,000 US workers and 16,000 worldwide.
The announcement came three months after Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told investors the company would focus on becoming more nimble.
“Closing stores is never an easy decision. But it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future,” Doug McMillon said in October 2015.
The national shortfall in holiday shopping came even as retailers offered steep discounts to attract customers.
Online retailing did see a significant increase, rising 9% to $105 billion, but it was not enough lift the overall figures.
Concerns about holiday shopping added to market concerns as stocks fell sharply. The Dow Jones fell 400 points in morning trading.
The weak economic outlook was not confined to the service sector.
On January 15, the Federal Reserve reported industrial production in December shank by 0.4% the second month of contractions.
Industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities has been hit by a strengthening dollar and global economic weakness.
Warm weather also hit industrial production figures.
The unusual temperatures pushed utility output down 2% in December following a 5% decline in November.