ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Walmart that serves as a lifeline for parts of southeast Albuquerque will be closing its doors next month. The announcement was made Wednesday.
The Walmart on San Mateo near Central, situated near some of Albuquerque’s lower-income neighborhoods, announced it will be a part of company-wide closures happening across the country.
“It’s kind of sad, you know what I mean. I used to work there, so it’s where I met my wife,” said local resident and shopper Gabriel Sena.
People in southeast Albuquerque will have to find a new place to do their shopping after Walmart announced it’s closing one of its stores on March 10.
The company said, after a thorough review process that included financial performance, they determined the store on San Mateo near Zuni was underperforming.
Some people who live and work in the area are applauding the move, saying the store has a reputation for attracting crime, but other residents said the closure will make things tough.
“It’s a major inconvenience,” explained local resident and shopper Joseph Earp.
Joseph Earp walks to the Walmart on San Mateo a few times a week to buy his groceries. He said he was shocked to hear the news. It leaves him wondering where he will shop for essentials now.
“The interesting thing about them is that when they move into an area, they close out all the other competitors until they’re the only thing left,” said Earp.
In a statement, Walmart stated their current employees have the option to transfer to a nearby store. There are 15 Walmart stores within 20 miles of the San Mateo location, but for many shoppers, switching stores isn’t so easy.
“It’s gonna be sad for them, you know, because some people don’t have cars, and this is where they go, and all they have is Smith’s now down on Yale, but that might be out of the way too,” said Sena.
A Walmart spokesperson said the retail giant owns the property. Plans for what will happen to the facility have not been determined.