Walmart did not clarify whether retail crime or shoplifting incidents were a primary factor in the decision to shorten hours at five stores in Atlanta.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AP
Walmart has shortened the hours at five Atlanta stores, now closing at 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.The company cited feedback from store managers, employees, and shoppers in making the decision.Last month, city officials announced that another area store would include a workspace for police.
Shoppers at five Atlanta-area Walmart stores now have less time for late-night shopping runs after the company announced a reduction in operating hours at those locations.
Effective September 16, closing time at the stores is two hours earlier — at 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. — a Walmart spokesperson said, citing feedback from store managers, employees, and shoppers.
The company did not clarify when asked whether retail crime or shoplifting incidents were a primary factor in the decision.
“We consider several factors before arriving at these decisions. We hope these adjusted hours will help contribute to a better experience for customers and appreciate their cooperation,” the spokesperson said.
Other potential reasons for the reduction include low sales volumes or staffing challenges during those hours of the day.
The news follows an announcement last month that an arson-damaged location elsewhere in the city would reopen with a dedicated workspace for law enforcement officers.
Officials said criminals set fires at multiple stores late last year to act as a diversion for the theft of merchandise.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said community members requested an increased police presence, which he expects will cause shoplifters to think twice before stealing or destroying property.
Beyond the financial impact of inventory shrink, retail executives have said that the safety of employees and customers is the more troubling concern they have regarding retail crime.
Here is the full list of Atlanta-area Walmart locations closing earlier, effective September 16:
4735 Jonesboro Road, Union City
5401 Fairington Road, Lithonia
6149 Old National Highway, College Park
1105 Research Center Atlanta Drive SW, Atlanta
844 Cleveland Avenue, East Point