Retail behemoth Wal-Mart plans to close five stores in Tennessee this month as part of a broader plan to shutter 269 locations worldwide and focus on the company’s Supercenters and e-commerce business.
The Neighborhood Market at 1220 Gallatin Ave. in East Nashville is included in the list of closures, along with “Express” format stores in Chapel Hill, Loretto, Cornersville and a Neighborhood Market in Dover, which is less than 70 miles northwest of Nashville.
The stores will close Jan. 28.
The Neighborhood Market in East Nashville is a half mile north of ALDI and Kroger stores. It’s about 10 miles north of a Wal-Mart store at 2421 Powell Ave. and about six miles south of the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 3468 Dickerson Pike.
Wal-Mart’s exit will leave a retail vacancy in East Nashville at a time when several national grocery chains, including Publix and Whole Foods, are rumored to be circling the local real estate market.
The impacted stores represent less than 1 percent of Wal-Mart’s global square footage and revenue and were selected based on financial performance and how well the locations align with the company’s long-term plans, the company said in a statement. Wal-Mart has nearly 11,600 stores worldwide.
The move represents a shift in focus for the world’s largest retailer by revenue, which plans to invest in its e-commerce business, raise wages for entry-level employees and expand in-store pickup for customers’ online orders, a service that launched in fall 2015 in the Nashville area. It shows an increased effort on competing with online shopping rival Amazon.
“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CEO, said in a statement. “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future. It’s important to remember that we’ll open well more than 300 stores around the world next year.”
The new stores slated to open in the U.S. will include 50 to 60 Supercenters, 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets and seven to 10 Sam’s Clubs.