“I think it’s really bad for this town,” Walmart closure worries shoppers

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STROUD, Okla. - There are technically two choices for groceries in this small Oklahoma town, but that's not the way Carole Ryker and Stacey Howard see it.

"There’s not really a place you can go and just get everything you need like Walmart," said Howard, unloading a filled shopping cart on Saturday afternoon.

"They have good prices," said Ryker, her mother. "They always have good sales in here, I think. Every time we’ve come, it’s just been good sales."

Beginning in two weeks, this mother and daughter will have to look for another place to shop.

Walmart announced it is closing 154 stores across the country and nearly 300 globally.

That includes six stores in Oklahoma in Luther, Prague, Okema, Wewoka, Watonga and Stroud.

"I really hate that it’s closing, because I come here all the time," said Kristy Bierd. "I don’t think it’s good, because Stroud doesn’t really have anything and, with this, it just makes it worse."

Walmart's CEO calls it a business decision and a difficult one at that.

"Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future," said Doug McMillon in a statement. "It’s important to remember that we’ll open well more than 300 stores around the world next year. So, we are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it.”

The company targeted Walmart Express stores and branches with weaker sales.

The company said it will work on strengthening its Supercenters, optimizing its Neighborhood Markets and growing its e-commerce business, according to its website.

Though the company sought to minimize harm to customers by closing stores that are within 10 miles of another Walmart, that isn't the case in Stroud.

Still, some customers said they would rather travel to those businesses than shop at the other grocery store in town.

Click here for a list of other Wal-Mart stores that will be closing by Jan. 28.

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