Community Concerned After Walmart Shuts Store in Crenshaw Displacing About 200 Workers

Walmart's swift departure from the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza drew strong reactions Thursday from the community as the closure was expected to displace an estimated 200 employees.

Community leaders held a meeting to discuss the impact the closure would have on residents who were losing their jobs with the largest retailer in the U.S.

Representatives from the Economic Empowerment Committee listened to community reaction to the closure and proposed job fairs to help mitigate the layoffs.

"We can mobilize faster than the city with more personal care. This is where we all live. Where we all shop and play," said Yvonne Ellett of the Economic Empowerment Committee.

The Walmart in Crenshaw was among nine stores the company announced it would close this year. The company said it is closing 269 stores around the world, including express Walmart stores.

The Walmart at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza officially closed on Jan. 17.

"We have elderly people that were working there, and I spoke to them, and they are afraid because they don't know what's going to be for them next, and these folks don't drive, they walk to work," said Jamal Jones of the Economic Empowerment Committee.

The Crenshaw Walmart was a point of contention for the community when it was first opened its doors about 13 years ago, with many in support and against the retailer coming to their neighborhood.

"I'm not going to be able to afford living here because the rents keep going up and our wages keep going down, so we need to be a little more sensitive," said concerned resident Teresa Ximeno.

Walmart said it is offering transfers and transition assistance for displaced employees.

According to Walmart, there were some employees still working at the Walmart in Crenshaw, assisting with the clean up until Feb. 17.

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