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(RNN) – Walmart announced Friday it is closing 154 U.S. stores, according to a company press release, including the company’s 102 Walmart Express stores, the smallest format stores.

It is part of a global downsizing that will shutter 269 stores around the world out of Walmart’s nearly 11,600 stores.

The smaller-format store format had been tested since 2011.

In addition to all the Express stores, 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers and four Sam’s Clubs will be closed.

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About 16,000 associates will be affected worldwide – roughly 10,000 of whom are in the U.S. – according to the company.

It said more than 95 percent of the closed stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart, so the hope is those associates can gain employment at nearby stores. In cases where that isn’t available, transition assistance will be available, the company said.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart Stores, Inc. “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. So we are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it.”

Area location that will close:

OH: Bedford

 

READ MORE: Cleveland19.com

Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News

Map Courtesy of Tableau and WOIO Cleveland 19 News

Picture Courtesy of Getty Images

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