ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The southeast Albuquerque Walmart store near Highland High School will be closing next month, according to the company. Confirming the closure with KRQE News 13 Wednesday, the company said the store on San Mateo near Central will close for good by Friday, March 10.
The closure appears to be the only New Mexico store that will shut down soon. However, several local news reports of store closures began emerging Thursday, including some in Illinois and Wisconsin. In December, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon forecasted possible store closures company wide amid discussion of retail theft.
The company says the San Mateo location is underperforming. It also said there’s no single cause for why a store closes and that the company’s decision is based on several factors, including historic and current financial performance.
Considering financial performance, the impact retail crime is having on retail stores has been a significant talking point in New Mexico politics over the last year. In May 2022, KRQE News 13 shadowed special agents conducting a retail crime sting at the San Mateo Walmart location. Several other reported incidents have taken place at the location over the last several years. Lawmakers are evaluating several bills that would address different charges or tougher penalties for the crime.
Walmart operates 15 other stores in the Albuquerque metro-area, all within 20 miles of the San Mateo location. In all, the company says 53 stores and Sam’s Club warehouses in the Land of Enchantment.
As for what’s next for the property, it’s unclear. However, along with the building, Walmart also owns the land that the San Mateo store sits on. The company says the facility will be re-evaluated for use at a later date. The company also says store employees at the San Mateo location are eligible for transferring to work at another store.
“We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at our Albuquerque location,” said Walmart’s Southwest Communications Director. “We look forward to serving them at our other stores in the surrounding communities and [online.]”