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Four Local Walmarts Set to Close - KOAM TV 7

Four Local Walmarts Set to Close

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COLUMBUS, KANSAS -

Walmart officials announced it's closing more than 150 stores in the United States by the end of the month. Impacting 120 employees here in the four states.

Just 14 months ago Walmart management cut the ribbon on a Neighborhood Market "Express" location in Columbus, Kansas.

It's doors will close January 28th.

"So you have the gas pumps, plus a store that is bigger than a convenience store. So what will come in and operate both of those or will we have to eliminate? And that would be a cost someone would have to take on as well," Columbus city administrator Brad Reams said. He doesn't know what this means for the future of the Highway 160 location or the city. Reams found out about the closing Friday morning. The same time all the stores and it's employees were informed. Reams says the sudden announcement shouldn't be detrimental to Columbus, since Walmart's contribution to the city's tax base isn't as established. 

"So we didn't really have a year long revenue projection with Walmart involved as we made our 2016 budget," Reams said. 

And from a personal impact, the Columbus Walmart employed roughly 30 associates. They will report to work until the store is completely de-commissioned, with a deadline of February 10th. Walmart will transfer employees to it's other stores and offer 60 days pay to employees it doesn't transfer. Plus severance when applicable. 

Most Columbus residents seemed concerned about the effect it will have on the area market. 

"[The Walmart] provided a little competition on prices," one Columbus resident said. "Not like I wanted any other businesses ran out, but I think it actually helped improve all the businesses in the area."

Walmart says the decision is about portfolio maintenance, and the company is still expanding overall. A representative couldn't comment whether any of it's new stores were planned for locations impacted by Friday's announcement. 

Other stores set to close locally are ones in Anderson, Noel, and Seligman, Missouri. Which, including the one in Columbus, account for roughly 120 jobs.

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