Walmart on Portage Rd closing; the impact that could have on other businesses in the area

NOW: Walmart on Portage Rd closing; the impact that could have on other businesses in the area

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-----

A Walmart location in South Bend is checking out, for good, and it's going to impact more than just shoppers. 

Walmart's corporate released a statement Tuesday, saying they have thoroughly looked at the location, and it is under preforming in multiple areas. 

Best Friends Deborah Stuckey and Gloria Reed however, told ABC57 they are saddened to hear about their favorite store closing.

They told ABC57, 

“ well its going to do a lot of impact to a lot of people…because a lot of people depend on this store..have to catch the bus… have to walk… its in walking distance to a lot of places over here..”.

Although there are other grocery stores in the area, like a Meijer and Aldi, as well as two other Walmarts in St Joesph County their local shopping dates just won't be the same, especially without the option to stop at the local chains nearby. 

Jeff Rea, the President and CEO of the Regional Area Chamber of Commerce told ABC57, the impact he thinks this could have on the local economy,

“the businesses that have located around there…have located because of large traffic generators…like Walmart and Meijer. And certainly the hope of those retailors and the strip center Infront of them and the strip center to the north of them is that people will still come to that area.. we have seen in the past couple years some new development happen out there…new Chic fila.. new carwash under construction.. and a number of other users out there”.

The strip malls surrounding the store, are filled with retailors that rely heavily on the long standing traffic generators of the area like Walmart and Meijer. Including new developments that came to the area with that in mind, like the Chic-fil-A in the parking lot and a Wingstop that just opened its doors 3 months ago.

The Walmart has been in the spot since 1999, and Rea worries they will have a hard time filling such a large piece of real estate, similarly to the Menards that closed on the city's southside that is still vacant. However, luckily Walmart owns the property, so there may be a greater sense of urgency. 

While the closure was based on an accumulation of things, Rea says online shopping poses a threat to large stores, and more store closures could be looming, 

“it really is more whats happening to brick and border retail…and youll see that we continue to like the convience of buying stuff online.. it will continue to have an impact of brick and border retail….”, he added. 

ABC57 is still working to find out what this means for the Transpo stop in front of the location. 

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