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Juneau's Wal-Mart store will close in February

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: September 30, 2016
  • Published January 15, 2016

Juneau's Wal-Mart store will close Feb. 5 as the Arkansas-based chain makes worldwide cuts.

Wal-Mart announced Friday that it will close 269 stores around the world, with 154 of those in the U.S. The closures will affect 10,000 workers in the U.S. and 16,000 around the world.

"More than 95 percent of the closed stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart, and the hope is that these associates will be placed in nearby locations," a release said. When that's not possible, the company will provide 60 days of pay, severance for those eligible and job transition assistance.

The Juneau Wal-Mart currently has 181 employees. Juneau Mayor Mary Becker said she was devastated to hear news of the store's departure.

It is not yet clear what will happen to the building Wal-Mart occupies. The Juneau Wal-Mart is about 121,000 square feet, said company spokeswoman Delia Garcia. She said she doesn't know whether Wal-Mart owns or leases that property.

Financial performance is just one of many factors the company took into account when deciding which stores to close, Garcia said, but she wouldn't specify what else was part of the decision.

Brian Holst, executive director of the Juneau Economic Development Council, said that while Juneau has other options for shopping, such as Fred Meyer and Safeway, the move is still somewhat concerning.

"We have a few smaller options, so no worries about people finding places to buy their goods," he said. "It's just the option of perhaps the lowest-cost provider. It's certainly disappointing for those in our community that are trying to make every penny go as far as they can."

The Juneau location is among 12 Wal-Mart Supercenters that the company is closing -- the bulk of the closures will affect the smaller Wal-Mart Express stores. In recent years, it has become harder for Wal-Mart to compete with, according to The New York Times.

Wal-Mart has nearly 11,600 stores around the world.

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