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Walmart to close 269 stores, lay off 16,000

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Jan. 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Retailer Walmart announced Friday it will close 269 stores worldwide in 2016, including 154 in the United States.

The majority of the U.S. closings will occur at Neighborhood Market, formerly known known as Walmart Express, stores. They are the smallest stores, by area, of the retailer's locations.

About 16,000 employees, including about 10,000 in the United States, will be affected, either by transfers to other stores or layoffs.

Walmart said it will continue with plans to open new stores, including up to 60 Supercenters and 10 Sam's Club stores in the United States, through 2017.

Of the U.S. closings, 102 will be Walmart Express locations, as well as 23 Neighborhood Market stores, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six Walmart discount centers and four Sam's Club locations. The company did not announce a list of prospective closures.

Sixty of the 115 international stores to be closed are in Brazil. Walmart has more than 11,000 stores worldwide, with 4,655 in the United States.

The announcement Friday comes days after Macy's said it would close 36 U.S. stores, and Finish Line said 150 of its stores would close by 2020.

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