Many brick-and-mortar retailers are finding that the cost of doing business is prohibitive. With the cost of employees increasing and more convenient online options, many stores have decided to move their operations entirely online, close down for good, or close down some of their lowest-performing stores. In the case of Walmart, 2023 did not provide the type of fiscal returns it has come to enjoy. Unlike Amazon, who cut their costs by laying off employees, Walmart closed 25 locations across 15 states. Those states included Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, Wisconsin, and even Washington and Oregon.

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We thought we had survived the list of closings, but 2024 brings us some bad news. Walmart is going to continue to close underperforming stores in the new year. That means that Idaho Walmart stores aren't safe.

The first store closings for Walmart in 2024 will be in California, where they have announced the closing of two locations: The Walmart Neighborhood Market on Imperial Road in San Diego and the Walmart on Fletcher Road in El Cajon.

These closings tell us that no store is safe. With the Albertsons/Kroger merger seemingly imminent, Walmart could be looking to close Neighborhood Market stores that provide competition for this new mega grocer that will soon be providing its services to the Treasure Valley. Lack of competition could lead to higher prices for Boise-area consumers.

While you may not like Walmart, what it stands for, or shopping there, they help keep prices down as an alternative to the other grocery options in the area. They also provide jobs for hundreds of people in our community. Closing these stores would hurt our local economy.

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