The paint has barely had time to dry in the new Walmart Express stores in Iowa and Lake Arthur before their closure was announced today (Jan. 15).

As part of a change in strategy, Walmart announced the closure of 269 stores globally, a move that will affect 16,000 jobs. While the company said they will work to give those employees priority hiring at nearby stores, those who cannot be transferred will be given 60 days of pay. If eligible, they could also get severance pay.

The decision to close stores is difficult and we care about the associates who will be impacted. We invested considerable time assessing our stores and clubs and don’t take this lightly. We are supporting those impacted with extra pay and support, and we will take all appropriate steps to ensure they are treated well. -- Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO

The company's move will end the entire Walmart Express store format. Iowa's and Lake Arthur's stores were built within the two years -- both are Express stores. Walmart says Jan. 28 will be the last day the stores will be open to the public. Nationwide, 154 stores are closing, including traditional stores, Neighborhood Markets, Supercenters, Amigos and Sam's Clubs.

The closures are undoubtably welcome news to competing grocery stores and supermarkets. But the move seems pretty small for Walmart, which admits the closures "represent less than 1 percent of both global square footage and revenue."

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