Wal-Mart to Close 154 US Locations, Including 7 SoCal Stores

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Seven Southern California Wal-Mart stores are among the 269 set to close in 2016 -- 154 of which are in the United States, the company announced Friday.

The announcement was made as the mega-retailer tries to revitalize its slumping finances, and officials added that the stores it plans to close are generally poor performers.

Of the 16,000 associates -- or employees -- to be affected, 10,000 will be in the United States. The company aims to place those associates in nearby Wal-Mart stores.

But when that's not possible, Wal-Mart said it will provide the laid-off associates with 60 days worth of pay as well as resume and interview training.

A full list of store closures was made available Friday morning.

Seven Southern California stores were included in the list of those set to be closed on Jan. 28 (unless otherwise noted):

  • 151 East Fifth St., Long Beach
  • 4101 Crenshaw Blvd., West Adams neighborhood of South L.A. -- expected to close Jan. 17
  • 2408 North Lincoln Ave., Altadena
  • 6820 Eastern Ave., Bell Gardens
  • 701 W Cesar E Chavez Ave., Chinatown
  • 12120 East Carson St., Hawaiian Gardens
  • 2045 East Highland Ave., San Bernardino

Among the SoCal locations, the Chinatown store, a smaller-scale “Neighborhood Market” that just opened in September 2013, was the subject of repeated protests from activists who said nearby small businesses would be hurt by the chain retailer. A labor group filed a lawsuit that failed to stop the store from opening.

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

Associates say most of the closing stores are located within 10 miles of another Wal-Mart. Of the U.S. locations, two-thirds of which are the smaller "Wal-Mart Express" stores. Only 12 U.S. Wal-Mart Supercenters will close, along with four Sam's Club stores.

The retail sector struggled mightily, and shares of Wal-Mart fell 30 percent, last year.

Wal-Mart 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," said Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart's CEO.

Yet Wal-Mart says it will continue with its plans to open 300 new stores around the world later this year and 2017, including up to 60 new U.S. Supercenters and 10 new Sam's Club stores

"We are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it," McMillon said.

The closings represent just over 2 percent of the company's 11,600 stores worldwide. They are generally smaller stores, making up 1 percent of the retailer's overall square footage and sales.

Roughly half of the closing Wal-Marts overseas are in Brazil, and the rest are in Latin American countries.

KTLA's Melissa Pamer contributed to this report.

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