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In addition to the reporting by Connecticut Public Radio that appears below, Connecticut Public Television has produced two video series that focus on manufacturing in our state:Made in Connecticut profiles some of Connecticut's local manufacturing businesses, from high-tech to handmade.Making the Future introduces us to some Connecticut youth pursuing careers in manufacturing and the trades. This series was produced as part of the American Graduate: Getting to Work project with support form the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

West Hartford Walmart to Close Its Doors

Mike Mozart
Creative Commons
The Bishops Corner Walmart Neighborhood Market is among the 153 stores nationwide that will be closing.

West Hartford's Walmart Neighborhood Market is among 153 stores the multinational retail corporation said it will be closing across the country. 

Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores worldwide. More than half of the stores are in the United States. 

The stores being shuttered account for a fraction of the company's 11,000 stores worldwide and less than one percent of its global revenue, the company said. 

More than 95 percent of the stores set to be closed in the U.S. are within ten miles of another Walmart. The company, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, said it is working to ensure that workers are placed in nearby locations.

Region-wide, there are only four closures total in New England.

This includes one store in Rhode Island, two stores in Massachusetts, and the West Hartford location.

The neighborhood markets began as an experimental project in 1998. The West Hartford location opened in February 2013, the first of its kind to open in the northeast. 

Wal-Mart operates 4,500 stores in the U.S. Its global workforce is 2.2 million, 1.4 million in the U.S. alone.

The company said 10,000 of their employees in the U.S. will be affected by closures. Wal-Mart will be offering 60 days’ pay to affected employees in the U.S., and a severance package for those who are eligible.

Wal-Mart has warned that its earnings for the fiscal year starting next month will be down as much as 12 percent as it invests further in online operations and pours money into improving customers' experience.

In statement posted on the company website, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon said the closures were in the best interest of the company:  

We are continuing to grow, and we’re making smart choices in managing our portfolio. Even with today’s actions, Walmart will continue to invest in its future, with plans to open more than 300 new stores worldwide over the coming year.

McMillon also said the large majority of stores closing are Walmart Express stores. The store closures will start at the end of the month.

The Bishops Corner location is scheduled to close January 28. 

This report contains information from The Associated Press. Daniel Keith is an intern at WNPR. 

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