Champaine Woodruff said she shops daily at Walmart in Brooklyn Center and plans to do so until the doors close. Unfortunately for her, they’ll be closing soon.
A sign at the front door of the store located at 1200 Shingle Creek Crossing says it will be closing April 21. It gives no further explanation.
Walmart’s decision to leave, another blow to a neighborhood with a large Black population, comes on the heels of Aldi closing a store in North Minneapolis and a nearby Walgreens closing shortly afterwards.
The Brooklyn Center location, which has been in operation since 2012, is one of 10 stores nationwide the retail giant is closing, according to USA TODAY.
A Walmart spokesperson said that while the underlying business is strong, the Brooklyn Center store hasn’t performed “as well as we hoped.”
The closure is something the 31-year-old Woodruff described as “devastating” as she asked her mother where they would be shopping.
“Everybody knows me here. I come here every day, it’s convenient for me to come out here and now y’all leaving. I’m disappointed,” Woodruff said. “We’re devastated.”
Woodruff arrived at the Walmart parking lot around 2:30 p.m. Thursday with her mother. Both women grabbed a cart for groceries and other household items they planned to buy. Walmart is the least expensive store in the area, according to Woodruff.
Walmart Media Relations Manager, Robert Arrieta, told Sahan Journal the company owns the property and the facility will be re-evaluated for use at a later date.
“We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at our Brooklyn Center location. We look forward to serving them at our other stores in the surrounding communities and on walmart.com,” Arrieta said.
Walmart said employees at the Brooklyn Center location will be eligible for transfer to other stores in the area. The closest is a store in Brooklyn Park some 6.5 miles away. The store’s pharmacy team will work with customers to transfer prescriptions to other pharmacies by April 21.
Matilda Kennedy, 48, said the closure of the Walmart after the Aldi’s and Walgreen’s branches amounts to another loss for the Black community.
“Why are they closing a Walmart in a Black neighborhood?” Kennedy said as she loaded rolls of paper towels and laundry detergent into her minivan.
She works in a group home close to Walmart and shops there for the low prices and wide array of products.
“I bring them here, it’s closer to the home and reasonable,” Kennedy said.
The closest grocery store to the soon-to-be closed Walmart is a Cub Foods less than a mile away. It’s a 10-minute walk from the Walmart, but still difficult for those without reliable transportation, Kennedy said. The product selection is also smaller at Cub Foods.
“I come here everyday, everyday,” Kennedy said. “Now that they’re leaving, it’s like they’re taking everything away.”