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Wal-Mart Begins Store Closures on Sunday, Including 2 L.A. Locations

Two days after Wal-Mart announced it would close 269 stores globally-- 154 of which are in the United States -- the mega-retailer began shutting down locations on Sunday, including two in the Los Angeles area.

The Wal-Mart located at 4101 Crenshaw Blvd., in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw neighborhood, and the Neighborhood Market at 701 W. Cesar E Chavez Ave., in Chinatown, were among dozens of locations closing Sunday, according to the company's website.

The Chinatown store had just opened in September 2013. Activists had protested the store's opening for about a year prior, arguing the chain retailer would hurt nearby small businesses.

In total, seven stores around Southern California were shutting down. The rest of the closures were slated for Jan. 28.

The other five locations are:

  • 151 East Fifth St., Long Beach
  • 2408 North Lincoln Ave., Altadena
  • 6820 Eastern Ave., Bell Gardens
  • 12120 East Carson St., Hawaiian Gardens
  • 2045 East Highland Ave., San Bernardino

Another California Wal-Mart, located in Oakland, was also scheduled to shutter on Sunday, according to a list of closures posted to the retailer's website.

Most of them were planned for Jan. 28.

The company said the stores it planned to close were generally poor performers, and most were within 10 miles of another Wal-Mart. Two-thirds of the stores are the smaller "Walmart Express" stores.

Only 12 U.S. Walmart Supercenters will close, along with four Sam's Club stores.

About 16,000 associates will be impacted, including 10,000 in the U.S., according to a news release on Wal-Mart's website.

The company said it would try to place associates in nearby Wal-Marts, but in instances when that's not possible, the laid-off employees would get 60 days worth of pay, in addition to resume and interview skills training.

It was unclear whether employees at the Southern California stores would be relocated or laid off.

“The decision to close stores is difficult and we care about the associates who will be impacted,” said Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart's CEO. “We invested considerable time assessing our stores and clubs and don’t take this lightly. We are supporting those impacted with extra pay and support, and we will take all appropriate steps to ensure they are treated well.”

In announcing the closures, the company said it had been reviewing the performance of its stores since October.

"Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future," McMillon explained.

Amid a struggling retail sector, shares of Wal-Mart fell about 30 percent last year.

Still, the retailer -- which has nearly 11,600 stores around the globe -- plans to open hundreds of stores in the coming fiscal year, which starts on Feb. 1.

In the U.S., Wal-Mart intends to open 50 to 60 Supercenters, 85 to 90 Neighborhood Markets, and 10 Sam's Clubs, according to its website.

The company was also planning between 200 and 240 new stores internationally in the coming year.

CNN Wire contributed to this story. 

Click here to see the full list of Wal-Mart stores being closed


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