DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The world’s largest retailer is going to get a tiny bit smaller.
Walmart has announced plans to close its Redbird area Supercenter at 3155 W. Wheatland Road in Dallas near Highway 67.
The store is expected to close before the end of the month.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said shopper Sharon Gilmer. “I’ve never heard of a Walmart being shut down.”
In confirming the closure, Walmart Texas spokesperson Anne Hatfield told CBS 11 in a written statement, “After a careful and thoughtful review process, we have made the difficult decision to close the Walmart Supercenter at 3155 W. Wheatland Road. The decision is based on several factors including the store’s overall performance.”
Store employees were briefed on the closure Wednesday morning.
“Shock. Disbelief. Trying to figure out why,” said one employee who asked not to be identified.
Employees had been warned to not speak to media. He says rumors are swirling about what contributed to the closure, like what he called a “high volume of crime in this store,” and then adding, “We want to know what’s going on.”
He says he is hoping to be transferred to another Walmart.
A spokesperson said there are a dozen Walmarts within a 10-mile radius of the Wheatland store, all of which is great news for customers with transportation.
But many in this community do not have transportation.
“And the next Walmart is in Cedar Hill,” says shopper Shirley Reynolds while waiting at a nearby bus stop. “I mean, you can’t ride a bus to Cedar Hill!”
Reynolds says she is unsure of what she will do, now.
“I don’t drive. It’s convenient to me to shop here: I can get on the bus. Shop. And get on the bus and go home. What’s going to happen to the elderly? What’s going to happen to people that get their medicine here? I mean– that’s not right!”
Others worry an empty big box store is an instant eyesore in the community, but District 8 City Councilman Tennell Atkins says he is more concerned about the lack of fresh grocery options.
“It’s tough on the citizens because they been shopping there for years and years,” says Atkins. “There’s going to be a big void. We are in a food desert.”
Walmart has plans to close the store by April 19, but Atkins is hoping the retailer will delay it’s departure.
“We got to make sure Walmart stay a little longer so people can get adjusted to what’s coming next,” says Atkins.
“It’s going to be inconvenient for a lot of people,” says Gilmer.