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Walmart closing one store in Lexington, three in Louisville

Walmart is closing its store on Richmond Road and Man o' War as of Aug. 10.

“The decision to close our Richmond Road store is not an easy one, but, as a company, we are committed to continuing our growth and investment in Kentucky," said Anne Hatfield, Walmart spokeswoman.

The store and the pharmacy will close on the same day and pharmacists will work with customers to transfer prescriptions to other Walmart locations or other pharmacies, Hatfield said.

The store is a tenant in the Mist Lake Plaza shopping center owned by Brixmor Property Group, care of Harding & Carbone Inc., of Houston, Texas.

"Following Walmart’s announcement, Brixmor will actively seek to fill this space with best-in-class retailers that meet the needs of the Lexington community. We look forward to sharing new tenant names once leases are completed," said Kristen Moore, Brixmor spokeswoman.

About 200 associates were informed of the closure Wednesday morning, Hatfield said, adding they will be paid through Sept. 14 and will have the chance to transfer to other Walmart or Sam's Club stores in the area.

"We will be sitting down with each associate and identifying transfer opportunities," she said.

The closing comes as the Arkansas-based company re-evaluates customer needs at each location, she said. Like other companies, Walmart is in a grocery war as retail giant Amazon moves into the grocery sector. More sales are being shifted to online and direct-to-customer routes. In January, Walmart abruptly closed 63 Sam's Club stores; none of the closed Sam's were in Kentucky.

Meanwhile, Kroger opened a store across Richmond Road in 1995, then upgraded it to a Kroger Marketplace with housewares and more in 2009. The Kroger store is currently completing a $3.2 million renovation and expansion.

Three stores in Louisville also will be closing, Hatfield said. The locations are the Walmart Supercenter at 195 South Hurstbourne Parkway, the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 3101 Poplar Level Road, and the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 201 Blankenbaker Parkway.

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Lexington's Richmond Road store, 125,000 square feet, is a Walmart Discount Store, Hatfield said.

"Most of our stores today are a Walmart Supercenter or a Walmart Neighborhood Market, and have a full grocery. This store doesn’t have a full grocery," she said. "It has general merchandise. Most have mix of fresh groceries and household goods."

There are three Walmart Supercenters (one on Grey Lag Way at Hamburg, one on Nicholasville and Man o'War, and one at North Park on New Circle Road) and several Walmart Neighborhood Markets, as well as a Sam's Club in Lexington and a second between Lexington and Nicholasville.

Merchandise at the closing store will be discounted but Hatfield said she did not know when sales would begin.

Other tenants in the shopping center include: Rent-A-Center, YouFit Gym, Hibbett Sports, Game Stop and Gabe's, a discount clothing store.