Despite National Closures, Vermont Walmarts Will Remain Open
Walmart announced today it will close 269 of its stores, but the company’s Vermont locations in Rutland, Williston, St. Albans, Bennington and Berlin and the 938 employees who work in those stores will not be affected.
The world’s largest retailer operates 11,600 stores globally and plans to close 154 of its U.S. locations. The company’s smallest format stores, known as Walmart Express, which debuted in 2011, will be hardest hit with 102 closures.
Jeff Metcalfe, of Proctor, was shopping Friday at Rutland's Walmart and said he was relieved the store was not among those to be closed. With the local Sears and JCPenney stores closing not long ago, Metcalfe said, "We need something like this. I shop different places for different things, but they had what I needed today and it was the only place I could find it."
Metcalfe said the jobs the store provides are also important to the region.
Walmart reports that about 16,000 store employees will be affected worldwide by the closings, including about 10,000 workers in the United States.
Walmart reported that more than 95 percent of the closed stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart. Company officials say they intended to transfer as many workers as they can to nearby stores and offer severance pay to those who do not find new positions.
The company is the country's largest private-sector employer.
[This story was updated Jan. 18 to include Bennington in the list of Walmart stores in Vermont. It had been inadvertently omitted.]