Walmart announced Friday that it will close 269 stores worldwide to refocus its business model on superstores and e-commerce.
The move includes the closure of 154 U.S. locations, including all 102 Walmart Express stores.
The retail giant began a review of its nearly 11,600 stores in October, resulting in Friday’s announcement.
The affected businesses represent less than 1 percent of the company’s global revenue, Walmart 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,” company president and CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. “It’s important to remember that we’ll open well more than 300 stores around the world next year.”
Approximately 16,000 employees will be affected by the decision, with the vast majority – about 10,000 people – in the U.S.
The company said it hopes to re-hire some of its personnel at nearby locations. If that is not possible, Walmart will pay laid off workers for 60 days, and severance pay if the employee is eligible.
The more than 300 store openings planned for 2017 includes 50 - 60 supercenters and 85 - 95 Neighborhood Markets in the U.S starting in February - the start of the company's fiscal year.
"We are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it,” said McMillon.