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Wal-Mart closes Oakland, San Jose stores

Two Bay Area Wal-Mart stores are closing this month, according to company officials.

Oakland’s only store, at 8400 Edgewater Drive, is closing Sunday at 7 p.m. and a San Jose store at 5502 Monterey Highway is closing Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.

A total of 650 people will either be able to take a job at a nearby Wal-Mart or have to find another job.

Another Wal-Mart store is located about two miles from the Oakland store and four stores are with six miles of the San Jose store.

Wal-Mart president and CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement:

“The decision to close stores is difficult and we care about the associates who will be impacted. … We invested considerable time assessing our stores and clubs and don’t take this lightly.”

The closures are part of the company’s decision to close 269 stores around the world and 154 in the United States.

Company officials said the closure follows a review of all its stores and took into account factors such as financial performance and the company’s long-term plans.

The plans include opening other stores in the U.S. in the coming fiscal year, which starts Feb. 1, though none of those will be in the Bay Area.

Wal-Mart will continue to employee at least some people at the two stores after the stores close in order to remove merchandize and fixtures.

Company officials said they expect to have that work done at both stores by Feb 10.

After Feb. 10, the people are still Wal-Mart employees and the company will be working with them to transfer within 60 days to another store. Employees who do not transfer will receive 60 days of pay and severance, if eligible, company officials said.

Severance pay starts 60 days after Feb. 10.

But company officials said they will give employees who want to transfer priority consideration for jobs at nearby stores.

All employees affected by the closure will receive help with their resume and interviewing skills.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement, “Our focus is on supporting the company’s Oakland employees as Wal-Mart works to relocate them to one of their four remaining stores within 15 miles of the Edgewater site, or provides severance.”

As far as plans for the buildings, company officials said they will help the owner find a new tenant if Wal-Mart was leasing the building.

Wal-Mart officials will either sell or lease a building the company owns.

Schaaf said in her statement, “The loss in tax revenue as a result of the closure will not be permanent. The growing strength of the Oakland market will allow us to quickly put that site to new use in a way that benefits the residents of East Oakland and our city as a whole.”

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