Corning Walmart to Close July 20
The rumored possible closing of the Corning Walmart became a reality last week, as the corporate offices of the world's largest retailer informed city officials of the move. Corning Mayor Rob Young noted to the media that he received word on Wednesday, June 20, that the store would be closing one month later—on Friday, July 20.
The closure of the store will affect about 60 employees, with many being transferred to surrounding locations.
Earlier this year rumors began to circulate about the possible closing in light of a lease on the building which expires in August and weak sales numbers. The Corning store first opened in 1978, and is located squarely in the service area of three of the company's “Super Centers” in Paragould, Pocahontas and Poplar Bluff—the first such mega store built by the chain.
Ryan Carter, of Corning, has been working at the Walmart in that city for over five years, while his mother is a long-time veteran of the company. Carter, a candidate for State Representative in the upcoming General Election, noted the great impact the closing will have on the city and its economy.
“I am so grateful for all of the many friends I made working here, and I'm sad that I'll have to say goodbye to all the regular customers I've gotten to know over the years,” he offered. “This April was my five-year anniversary with the store and I couldn't have asked for a more friendly or caring place to work.”
Carter indicated his mother would also be moving-on from the Corning Walmart after 19 years of service, taking the job after working at Johannson Shoe.
Carter also pointed to the impact the closure will have on the county in general.
“Like many before them they are going to find work outside of Clay County, and our district,” he observed. “Folks who bought their necessities here in town are going to be traveling outside the district a lot more often to shop. It's going to have some wide effects on our local economy. It's a painful reminder that all the tax breaks and special treatment that big corporations have received from our legislature isn't going to save jobs for folks in our area. That money doesn't trickle down to us rural folk.”
Mayor Young reported he had been in contact with several possible tenants for the soon-to-be-vacated building, and noted he would continue to work toward replacing the lost jobs.
Following the announcement, company officials reported the store would begin closing at 7 p.m. each day, along with the Walmart pharmacy, which is also closing on July 20.