Thursday, June 13, 2024

[ALERT] Walmart Closing Atlanta Area Stores in Dunwoody and East Cobb

Walmart announced today it will be closing two stores in metro Atlanta.  The closures, to occur in July, affect stores in East Cobb and Dunwoody.  The East Cobb store, operating under the "Walmart Neighborhood Market" banner, opened in 2014, while the Dunwoody store, a "Walmart Supercenter," opened in 1995.  

The stores didn’t meet financial expectations, according to a Walmart spokesperson.  “This decision was not made lightly and was reached only after a careful and thoughtful review process,” a company spokesperson said in a prepared statement.

The company has also shortened the operating hours of the stores in advance of their closure. Both stores are due to close as of July 12.  The two stores’ nearly 400 employees will be paid through Sept. 20 and can transfer to other locations. If they don’t change stores, they will receive severance pay, Walmart said.

The Dunwoody store, at 4725 Ashford Dunwoody Road, measures 183,500 square feet and anchors Perimeter Village shopping center.  The store opened on November 1, 1995, and was expanded to a Supercenter on August 2, 2006.  The store also received a significant facelift around 2022 that brought the company's new logo and new layout and replaced many manned registers with self-check-out stations.  More recently, the store implemented several "theft deterrent" installations that included locking up many personal care items such as deodorant, condoms, and formula, requiring customers to press a button and hope that an employee was available to unlock the case to provide access.  In our recent visits to the store, we experienced several instances where employees were unavailable, with others who could be found telling customers to "come back tomorrow" when in search of things like Plan B or deodorant.  It's this kind of flippant, unhelpful "service" that undoubtedly had a negative impact on the store's sales. 

Actions such as this by Walmart also push people away from brick and mortar shopping and play right into the hands of rivals like Amazon who are ever so ready to please disappointed customers with super speedy delivery of needed items.  

Despite these installations, the Dunwoody Walmart still lost several million dollars to theft this past year, making it one of the highest theft stores in the southeast, according to a Walmart leader.  

Given the so-called "careful and thoughtful review process" in deciding to close the store, it's baffling that Walmart would allow one of its third-party partners, Atlanta-based Apotheos Roastery, to go through the expense and ordeal of opening a new coffee shop in the Dunwoody store.  The new coffee shop, located just inside the right-hand entrance of the retailer, opened in May, and is one of three the company operates within Atlanta area Walmart stores.  

A Walmart Neighborhood Market located a few miles away at 5025 Winters Chapel Road, also in Dunwoody, remains open.   

The Marietta Walmart Neighborhood Market destined for closure anchors Olde Mill shopping center (3101 Roswell Road) at the corner of Roswell and Old Canton Roads in East Cobb.  The 51,754 square foot store opened October 15, 2014 and was one of several Neighborhood Market stores in Marietta.   

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company previously closed Marietta locations at 1167 Powder Springs Street (opened January 16, 2013, closed March 3, 2017) and 3372 Canton Road. (opened March 29, 2013, closed December 4, 2017).  Walmart also closed a Neighborhood Market in Roswell - 4651 Woodstock Road - (opened November 1, 2013, closed April 7, 2017)

A full-line Walmart Supercenter remains open at 3100 Johnson Ferry Road, a few miles away in Marietta.

The East Cobb and Dunwoody closures come on the heels of the recent reopening of a Walmart in Vine City.  The store, located at 835 MLK Jr. Drive, was shuttered in 2022 after an arson attack.  Originally a Supercenter, the store was reduced in size and reopened this past May as a Neighborhood Market.  A separate Walmart Supercenter off Howell Mill Road, also the victim of arson, did not reopen following its initial temporary closure in 2022.  In April, Walmart announced it was eliminating its "Walmart Health" division, closing 51 clinics nationwide, including 17 across Georgia.  According to the company's website, the clinics are due to see their final patients as of June 28.   

Are you surprised to see Walmart closing their Dunwoody and East Cobb stores?  What are your thoughts on the "theft deterrents" implemented by Walmart?  What would you like to see open in place of the two Walmart stores?

Please share your thoughts below.  

63 comments:

Kevin said...

I wonder what will replace the East Cobb location given that its space is pretty big. I know both ALDI and LIDL have been expanding and would make good candidates.

Anonymous said...

I went to the Dunwoody store last month, really be accident. I needed some stuff and I was I the area and could not find the parking lot for Target. Anyway, I could not get out of that place fast enough. First off, Walmart is so big and sterile looking, it’s really a sad place. Second, it’s so huge, it’s hard to find anything and they had a lot of the toiletry items I was looking for locked up and finding someone to open the cases was pretty hard. Overall, I just didn’t find that to be a great shopping experience. I will say, this was a week day and the story was plenty busy, especially the grocery section, so I’m curious why they’re closing that store.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping we can get a good megachurch in that space.

Anonymous said...

So theft, hmmmm. Yet biased reporting blamed “flippant responses”.

Anonymous said...

My guess it’s the theft. They liked the performance well enough to super size it in 2006 and renovate in 2022. Thousands of apartments built in this area since they opened in 1995- plenty of customers with good but not great incomes. With inflation more folks are shopping at Walmart not less. Walmart has performed much better than Target recently- no reason to think this Walmart not similarly benefit. Stop blaming Walmart and look at the Dunwoody Police guided by left leaning city government.

Anonymous said...

I just read the article. It is indeed the supercenter on Ashford Dunwoody Road. I am very, very curious to understand why that location needs to close. The Shand location is close enough, however is always packed and hard to find parking because of the crowds. Also, it leaves a big gap, and the Ashford Dunwoody corridor.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago they converted every single register at the Dunwoody store to a self-checkout so if theft impacted that store, it's 100% on Walmart. Not that they don't have a decades long history of closing stores left and right anyway, for whatever reasons they wanted. I'm glad that neighborhood still has a Target, Harbor Freight, and many other options.

Anonymous said...

Walmart's ecommerce business is thriving. You can get same day delivery from Walmart easily. Or curbside pickup in a couple of hours. Same with Target and even CVS and Walgreens. The days of Amazon being the only alternative to "brick & mortar" are long gone.

Anonymous said...

Record amount of theft in Dunwoody? WTF? He said sarcastically.

Anonymous said...

Very mixed feelings on the Dunwoody closure. That location was a huge convenience during the pandemic and I became a fan of curbside pickup there and still use it, albeit less often. Especially after everything in health & beauty got locked up, curbside was the only way to go for that stuff.

That being said, never thought that store was especially well-run. And it always felt dingy -- whenever I'd go to another Walmart it would seem brighter and cleaner.

It's a bummer, because that Target is generally a no-go. They've never been able to keep much of anything in stock, so they just remodeled to have less stock.

Went to many a Clark's Christmas kids events there to shop too...

Anonymous said...

dunwoody left- leaning? hardly…

Anonymous said...

Well, this is our community that we care about so therefore let’s be brutally honest to ourselves, although the Walmart is literally in the center of one of the most affluent suburbs In the Atlanta, Metro, and in the state, for whatever reason, it was the 300 to 400 employees that made going to that location feel like a ghetto. The hiring practices at that store were completely puzzling and I, and others know, for fact that the employees brought their own brand of chaos, and their friends, with them to Dunwoody. How could it be that a similar rival such as target is literally a stone’s throw away and yet they do not have these issues? It was always puzzling why they started to lock everything up in Dunwoody, but leave (most) things accessible in Chamblee. Chamblee always has a police presence in and around the Chamblee store, however, we never see police having a presence in or near the Dunwoody Walmart or anywhere in that large shopping center. We will all be fine. We have a dozen new Publix and more going in and we have Amazon and the Internet at large. The people who should be most upset and mad at Walmart should be the 300 to 400 employees that are impacted.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps after a hiatus, they will resurrect the space with a Walmart neighborhood market so as to better compete with Publix with that store format.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of high dollar upscale retail in Dunwoody. If Walmart of all places is the first to escape I don’t think there’s hope for all the others. Do you like Gwinnett Place mall and the surrounding shopping districts? I saw an article today north DeKalb Mall redevelopment into next use is finally off the ground. Perhaps that is what’s in store for Dunwoody to compete with or even to complement the high Street initiatives.

Anonymous said...

I’ve been a customer of the Dunwoody location for over twenty years. Store is always busy. Getting rid of all the registers and going self checkout most likely is the reason. Walmart also seems to be trying to drive people to buying from them online and having it delivered. Tried that twice and it was “lost” by their drivers both times.

Anonymous said...

Theft is bad in most Walmarts. Some are losing 10k a day. Some are at 3 million a year. First time calling on Ashford Dunwoody someone stole 7 tvs. Theft is high all over Atlanta and suburbs. But let's keep building apartments every where to draw in more unfavorable people.

Anonymous said...

And Macys! Thank goodness they still have Macys.

Anonymous said...

If more of the WM stores merchandised like their (WM) Cartersville store/location..... just saying it would be a slam dunk on sales.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, Walmart cannot get their pick up service, curbside service, Or even shipping service together in a way that can be trusted. Every single order ends up with items out of stock that the app shows are in stock. Every single order has items that the Shopper was just too lazy to look for. I once got a notice that this and this and that we’re out of stock and I went to the store and picked all of them up off the shelves Where each item is normally stocked. Good luck finding a manager to show it to. so frustrating. Walgreens does much better for advance online orders for pick up or curbside or shipping.

Anonymous said...

WM Dunwoody's new hours are 7am-7pm. Since I can no longer enjoy the lesser crowds after 9pm, I guess I'm done shopping at this WM. The shame is that I don't sense that WM management ever put any serious effort into stopping theft, most of which is done by (or facilitated by) employees.

Anonymous said...

A few months ago, I needed 4 items, 3 of which were locked up and one on a shelf I couldn’t reach. I never could get any assistance and after about an hour, I left the store empty handed, frustrated and vowed I wouldn’t go back the Dunwoody location. It just isn’t worth the hassle & frustration. I went to Kroger & got the item I needed, in and out without issues. I may have paid more but at least I was able to get the products I needed at Kroger.

Anonymous said...

I’d love to see a BJ’s or even a Sam’s go in there. It’s also hard to believe that Walmart would cede the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs market completely to Target.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad and going to miss the Walmart neighborhood market in East Cobb! So convenient and items at Walmart prices. The one near the big chicken is scary. Can't shop at that store late at night. Even the Kroger is getting bad.

Anonymous said...

Yep, the self checkout lanes are a big issue in this store. Not just a few like most stores, but all the registers were replaced with self checkout and corralled into one giant area that had one long snaking line to get into. Of course all the previous register employees were still there, but now just standing around in the corral talking with each other under the guise of watching the shoppers. Good luck ringing up a cart full of groceries, the self checkout counter was smaller than a Koala changing station. You needed two carts, one with your purchases and the empty one to fill as you scanned items. What a joke.
Locking everything up was also an issue; as others said, you couldn't find an employee to get you what you wanted. Waste of time going to this store...and other Walmarts are doing the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Written by someone who’s never worked retail, or at least hasn’t recently. What do you think the employees can do? Stand there and say “Stop thief!” And hold up their hand, and the thief will just go “rats, I guess I have to go pay!” No….the thief pulls out a gun or shoves the employee down and runs.

Anonymous said...

It’s not too difficult to find anything at Walmart if you have a smartphone. Every item is on their Walmart app by location and shows the aisle it is on along with a corresponding map, the real problem is the locked up items. Either way their closing will affect nearby businesses and put a significant dent in the Dekalb county tax income.

Anonymous said...

Closing the Dunwoody store is insulting to the community. Good prices and good stock always there. Just because Walmart doesn’t care about reengineer the store is not good a reason to close it. There are solutions for theft. Locking items is not one. Bad labor is an issue. Screen for better employees and pay better is the solution. The store is always busy. The pharmacy is excellent. But Walmart simply doesn’t care about the community. For them it is all about net profit. I personally wish I could find a high executive at Walmart that would listen. The community should generate a petition to keep the store open. I would sign in a second.

Anonymous said...

OK, so I do not disagree with you. However, look at how this sounds, we can plan when Walmart comes in because the moment pops close up and we also complain when Walmart goes away because the mama pops close up, which is it? In that center in Dunwoody, the wok provisions needs to go away. Everyone of their dishes come out of a Ziploc frozen bag and they either boil it or wok it till it’s hot. It’s all made in advance at another location, the entire menu. The other store that needs to go, unfortunately is the puppy place. I love the puppy place, but let’s be honest. They Don’t have customer friendly business practices.

Anonymous said...

I do think Dunwoody is left leaning. The two large Baptist churches are essentially in Central parts of Dunwoody so it may appear to be conservative at large, but I think overwhelmingly left leaning.

Anonymous said...

With the Walmart same-day delivery or pick up, good luck getting your whole order and good luck getting the right order. CVS, no Walgreens and target are the gold standards in terms of Clicks for bricks!

Anonymous said...

It is quite interesting that not too Long after the new Publix opened across the street, and the other new Publix for Cambridge Square broke ground that Walmart decided to Pack up their shopping carts and go with their tails between their legs over to Chamblee :-) Store is very close and has good management and runs a tight ship. However, the parking is horrendous and now they’ve in case you didn’t notice they’ve built not one or two but dozens of new apartment buildings all around Chamblee. Those people are also going to Walmart they might have to put parking on the roof, I don’t know if they thought that through properly

Anonymous said...

Someone suggested that a BJ’s or Sam’s should go in there and I actually think that idea gets some traction. I prefer BJ’s and I think they’d really do good in the same general area as Costco.

Anonymous said...

Like putting ketchup on a steak. It’s an insult to the chef!

Anonymous said...

Chamblee Walmart has been there roughly 20 years. First time I went in there was 2005 and that shopping center was essentially sitting there all by itself.

Anonymous said...

Sams is owned by Walmart. Why would they close a Walmart and then stick a same in there? Also, they neighborhood behind there would never allow Walmart to have gas pumps. Don't think I've ever seen a gases sms.

Anonymous said...

I try to avoid going to Chamblee walmart b/c I find the cashiers to be very slow and unmotivated. BUT I've never had a problem finding huge numbers of empty spaces in the parking deck. It has plenty of parking, maybe even more than Dunwoody, but most of it is in the underground parking deck.

Alex said...

Ketchup on steak sounds pretty tasty right about now. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Facts are facts ... College Park has moved North bringing more problems. Working remote has changed all neighborhoods. Crime is real now.

Anonymous said...

I don’t see the issue with a complete reset! they may also be responsible for breaking the lease, they may want to utilize the empty building that they’re paying for.

Anonymous said...

I agree, crime, now more than ever is real.

Anonymous said...

You’re not giving the executives enough credit, there is nothing wrong with completely resetting a location the completely different concept. Is concept a Walmart supercenter for whatever reason did not work out if you still on the building for the lease why in the world would you not then try a completely different format like Sam’s Club or Neighborhood market or whatever else they dreamed up maybe take one of the online businesses and put it in bricks such as maybe they could sell cars or coffins.

Anonymous said...

That store is always packed, the parking lot, the lines, the aisles. It also has a slightly different merchandise mix than Chamblee. I bet theft, combined with the current landlord trying to jack up the lease renewal combined with the worst collection of employees possible including management, I bet all these were factors.

With all the mixed use and multifamily construction throughout the entire metro, it is likely to be the jacked up lease renewal. The management company can take the Walmart half of the shopping center, including the two level strip and knock it all down and dream up something new. Once Walmart leaves, they will have plenty of blank canvas to paint on.

Anonymous said...

"Defund the Police" and not prosecuting crime has destroyed so many cities. Retailers have no options except to close down brick and mortar locations. If you don't like this trend, make sure you vote for people who believe in law and order.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that I never see Dunwoody police in at or around Dunwoody Walmart however Chamblee police clearly partners with Chamblee Walmart and work closely with them to keep everything safe. There is always a good blue presence at Chamblee Walmart.

Anonymous said...

You’re insulting the chef!

Anonymous said...

We should all just kill ourselves and be done with it. Everything in the Atlanta area is just so horrible, or so everyone seems to think who comments on this blog. Why bother even living anywhere anymore at all? It’s all so horrible we should just be dead.

Anonymous said...

You must not be there often. They are there.

RayAtL said...

It is unbelievable that someone on here is still parroting the “defund the police” line.
There has not been a single police department in Georgia that has lost funding and that tired line should be in the same dusty graveyard where other fox “news” lies go eventually… after they lose another defamation case.

JF said...

You can honestly read these comments and see who never leaves their gated enclaves and solely consumes a single, generally sensationalized and false, stream of information.

It's a shame most of you will tout to be nice to others, be kind, all the tenets you preach in church, and yet narrow that down to what you truly mean, which is only to be nice and kind to others that look like you.

"No apartments"?? Where should people live? Contrary to popular belief, not everyone can afford a SFH.

I don't see Dunwoody "crumbling" and being destroyed. This is Wal-Mart wanting to save money. I don't think of East Cobb as a bastion of "liberal" ideas.

It's a shame this is what society is. You don't have to like everyone but you can be nice to them. Hopefully your kids will be better people than you are.

Anonymous said...

The East Cobb location is less than 5 miles from the Johnson Ferry supercenter and also within same distance of Aldi, Lidl, Whole Foods, Kroger, at least 1-2 Publix stores. The area is saturated with grocers across the price spectrum and is therefore very competitive. I'm honestly neither surprised nor dissatisfied to see this WM location close, Aldi and Lidl have a much better product offering at the discount end of the market anyway.

Anonymous said...

It's simple,...these big stores need a balance of customers to be successful, you need people to buy the cheap stuff, and people to buy the expensive stuff - walmart does carry name brand expensive stuff. The crowd that buys the expensive stuff doesn't like everything locked up and self check out, so they go somewhere else. Now you're left with the crowd that only buys the cheap stuff. Profits from the cheap stuff can't cover the theft losses, so you shut down. 100% Walmarts fault. They could have just spent a bit more money on more/better employees, cater just a little bit to your better customers, and they would still be in business. Also, I don't feel sorry for the employees losing their job,....this place had the worst employees I've ever seen, they deserve to be fired, all of them.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, JF has anointed himself our "conscience." He/She also thinks we all live in gated communities and we're all a bunch of racists because some of us don't want to live near apartments. Way to stereotype JF.

Anonymous said...

to piggyback on June 17, 2024 at 2:12 PM, I also think that Walmart corporate intentionally ran this store into the ground. For one, although I only buy a few things and I like SCO, going to an all SCO format likely lost the business of people that like to load up their cart. For one person to deal with a full cart, scanning and bagging their own stuff, is a hassle.

So Walmart could easily have kept some registers or put some registers back in the store.

The all SCO format, with only a few employees milling about, essentially encourages more shoplifting, because shoplifters have basically a wide-open area to walk through before departing.

I used to live very close to this Walmart in apartments that were mostly young professional and travelling executives (many years ago). Now there are many immigrant families in the apartments, and I know they shop at the Walmart. So I'd wager that as Dunwoody apartments took on more families (seeking good schools) over the last few years, that business increased.

Walmart measures and monitors all aspects of their stores. They knew in full what the results of the all SCO format would be. They ruined a store that should have been among the best performers. Why? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Yes you do.

Anonymous said...

Don’t be hating on Fox News or their viewers, you’ll see November, more than half the country, I’m estimating 70% when you see that you’ll start to question everything you thought you knew.

Anonymous said...

I agree that they tanked it very intentionally. I am really wanting to know why. An expensive lease Renewal? A law suit? Wasn’t there a shooting that took someone’s life there sometime in the past year? Theft and shrink? Are they bringing another concept? Are they just taking a time out to reset with a completely new team and store model? Closing the store certainly the cleaner way of just firing everybody and starting over. Was so bad they probably really wanted to fire everybody. That’s how they ended up like that. Does anyone have any insight?

Anonymous said...

Yes, and you’re all wrong.

Anonymous said...

so tell us 'June 20, 2024 at 6:21 AM', what's your take? If a sam's club opened here, it would do gangbuster business. I think this location is overall much better than the nearby costco--which does great business.

Clearly they tanked it though.

Steve Barton @skbarton13 said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Walmart was the only place I could find goose fat at Christmas. My once a year escapade there is over!

Anonymous said...

yoo noze duh prublim wiff destruction , decline, and the demise of a neighbor hood and its establishments!!! Do something about it!!!! Soon it will truly be too late to cure the plague!

Anonymous said...

This is all the way down the blog from I think a couple weeks ago so I’m not sure anybody’s actually going to see this. I spoke to one of the managers at Chamblee. Dunwoody was not meeting financial goals, but The financial goal where they failed miserably was 100% driven by theft and shrink, he said, there was more theft than you can even believe, especially given it is an affluent area. Dunwoody police had a steady presence there and actually arrested people 3 to 4 times per day. That location was also succumbed to this craziness where several thugs enter the store and empty mass amounts of merchandise in big trash bags and run , they also said that they had to stock all the electronics in the back behind the gate because once they stocked anything from printers to TVs stereos, etc. people just picked them up put them in the cart and left the store. I thought that was only in LA and Chicago. He said a lot of the crime came from employees and friends of employees and also from unfortunately, transient from Marta. The manager said that Dunwoody police is fully expecting all this activity to move over to target And they have been meeting with management at target in hopes of mitigating the problem. It is just a shame that a store that is so community focused And provides hundreds of jobs in an affluent area can’t even survive the thug activity. I live halfway between Dunwoody Walmart and Chamblee Walmart and Chamblee was always my preferred location, I only ventured into Dunwoody if I absolutely could not find what I was looking for at Chamblee. I sincerely hope that Chamblee does not also become a statistic. That said, the ownership and management of the Dunwoody shopping center needs to completely reimagine, that half of the center, and they need to quickly. The space and the neighboring businesses will not be able to sustain a vacancy in the long term. I like what they did with the restaurant park across the street, they completely reimagined it same thing with the north Dekalb mall. Lastly, a note to Eli, if there’s a way to promote this post so that it goes back to the top of the blog I think a lot of folks would definitely continue the dialogue and would appreciate it. Thanks for all you do Eli, whether you know it or not you are a local treasure.

Anonymous said...

Stroke in progress for this poster, call 911

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