Walmart to close Midway store in St. Paul. Slow sales cited as factor. – St. Paul Pioneer Press

Walmart to close Midway store in St. Paul. Slow sales cited as factor. - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Walmart to close its St. Paul store on University Avenue
“After a careful and thoughtful review process, we have made the difficult decision to close the Walmart Supercenter at 1450 University Ave. W in Saint Paul,” the Arkansas-based retailer said in a statement. “The decision is based on several factors including the stores overall performance.”

The store’s pharmacy will remain open through Sept. 13, the company said. Customers will get help in transferring their prescriptions to other pharmacies, it added.

After a careful and thoughtful review process, we have made the difficult decision to close the Walmart Supercenter at 1450 University Ave. W in Saint Paul,” Walmart spokesperson Tiffany Wilson said. “The decision is based on several factors including the stores overall performance.”

Walmart To Close Its St. Paul Midway Store Next Month

Signs posted on the retailers doors said that MoneyCenter transactions including check cashing will end Aug. 30.

Walmart at Midway Marketplace in St. Paul set to close in September

Charlotte Hunter, a resident of Cathedral Hill, said the absence of the major discount retailer from the Green Line would be a blow for many low-to-moderate income St. Paul residents like her daughter.

I think it impacts a lot of people, especially people who dont have cars — young single mothers who dont have cars and need diapers, Hunter said.

Reacting to the news on Wednesday, a St. Paul city spokesperson said, "We recognize that the character of the Snelling-Midway area will be changing with the significant investments in rail and bus rapid transit service and the recent opening of Allianz Field. The green line station area plans for this area anticipate a mix of uses with higher densities, and we welcome conversations with property owner Kraus Anderson regarding their plans for the future of this site."

Some saw the store’s lack of a full grocery department as a weakness that may have contributed to its demise. Rumors have circulated for some time that Walmart might relocate to the site of St. Paul’s old Sears store on Rice Street, potentially with full grocery service.

Some people who live in the area say people in this community rely on the low prices at the Walmart to stretch their dollar and rely on its convenient location along the light rail. One shopper said she worries all of the changes to the area surrounding Allianz Field will force people to leave the neighborhood to find more affordable housing.

They have long lamented not being allowed to have a full grocery store at that location (because they are on Cub's parking lot).

The city also urges anyone whose job is being impacted by the closure to turn to the State Department of Employment and Economic Development and Ramsey County Workforce Solutions for help. Employees can head over to the CareerForce Center at 540 Fairview Avenue North for assistance.

The store’s 333 workers will be encouraged to seek positions at other Walmart stores, the company said. Employees who don’t move to other Walmart locations will be paid through Nov. 8, and subsequently get severance pay.

The store's pharmacy will shut down a week prior on September 13. Prescriptions at the pharmacy will be shifted to the Walmart on Twin Lakes Parkway in Roseville. But, employees will work with customers to move orders to a "convenient location."

The store’s closing “is in no way a reflection of their hard work serving our customers,” the news release said.

“First of all, one of the things that when I learned about the closure of Walmart was where are the employees going to go? So that’s been our first priority working with them,” St. Paul Councilmember for the Midway neighborhood, Dai Thao said.

Many of the workers and customers at Walmart on Wednesday were East African immigrants or the children of immigrants, and several expressed disappointment at the news.

“Gentrification is a real issue that’s happening and that’s why the city…one of our top priorities is housing options especially along the Green Line, and I think the city has done a good job with that,” Thao said.

It impacts me because Im a neighbor, said Getachew Erago, 52, a longtime resident of Lexington Parkway. There is no other Walmart around.

Trina Berry, another customer, said the retail landscape has changed around Allianz Field, the Minnesota United soccer stadium, which opened at the former site of a Rainbow Foods grocery store this year.

“In the Midway plan we call for more density, we call for more mixed use because of the light rail. This is a model that has worked in other parts of the country and we’re excited about that,” Thao said.

Since theyve built that, there has been a lot of stuff closing, said Berry, a resident of St. Pauls East Side.

The Midway Marketplace was recently purchased in March by Kraus-Anderson Realty, the development division of the Minneapolis-based construction firm.

In addition to the Sears on Rice Street, recent major retail closures include the Herberger’s store in the Midway Marketplace, and the Rainbow that was torn down in the Midway Shopping Center to the west to make room for the 19,400-seat stadium.

On the flip side, the Target in the Midway Marketplace has recently undergone some interior improvements, including the addition of a liquor store and delivered-to-your car services in the parking lot. The location is believed to be one of the Minneapolis-based retailer’s busiest stores.

The decision is based on several factors including the stores overall performance, Tiffany Wilson, a Walmart spokeswoman, said in a statement.

The Walmart Supercenter slated to close is near Snelling Avenue and Allianz Field, the new soccer stadium. It is also next to a Target and a Cub Foods.

About 333 employees will lose their jobs, the company told a state agency, and will be paid through Nov. 8.

We hope that most of the 333 associates will want to continue their career with Walmart by transferring to one of the many nearby stores, the company said. Walmarts HR teams will help identify transfer opportunities and assist associates through the transfer process.

The store, which first opened in 2004, will close Sept. 20, with its pharmacy closing a week earlier on Sept. 13. Prescriptions will be transferred to the Walmart store in Roseville unless customers make different arrangements with the pharmacy.

According to a recent report by Coresight Research, store closures among major retailers have already exceeded that from last year. Major retailers have announced 7,567 store closures so far this year, compared with 5,524 last year.

After closing more than 150 stores in the U.S. in 2016, Walmart has been closing just a handful of stores a year since then. It closed about 20 stores in the United States last year and more than a dozen so far this year. In total, Walmart has more than 4,000 stores in the United States.

St. Paul also recently lost its Sears store. Sears has closed many of its stores around the Twin Cities, including at the Mall of America, and around the country after its bankruptcy last year.

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