Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR. I’m here with unfortunate news for residents in the middle of Katy, as the Walmart Neighborhood Market at Westheimer Parkway and Falcons Landing Drive is preparing to close. The news was first leaked on Nextdoor and later confirmed by the store manager to Covering Katy. Walmart regularly eliminates underperforming stores and is closing seven other locations for this year. While Walmart’s claim of underperformance is substantiated by the end of their pickup-only concept and the shuttering of three tech hubs, including one in Austin, it seems that this may not be the full story here. Word on the street is that this specific location was experiencing high amounts of theft. Visiting the store highlighted a large reliance on self-checkout, and UPC-swapping was mentioned as an issue by an anonymous source familiar with the store. Texas is no stranger to smaller Walmart locations, with a bulk of the now-defunct Walmart Express locations hailing from Texas, along with many smaller traditional stores from the 70s and 80s, sometimes referred to as “D1” locations.
This is in a bad spot to start with. This Walmart food selection is bad compared to a normal Walmart, and terrible compared to HEB.
I noticed the selection was a bit lacking. I got a sort of Pantry Foods feeling shopping there, and not in a particularly good way.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this store wasn’t really seeing that much higher theft than any other similar Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, but the sales numbers probably weren’t high enough to offset the costs of doing business. Of course, that includes theft especially when a store is understaffed as self-checkout dominant stores generally are like this one apparently.
Oh well, I don’t generally shop in this area and I probably would have headed to the S Fry Rd. Randall’s if I did.
My initial thought would be why is Walmart using predominantly self-checkout in any area with high theft? But if there isn’t self-checkout you’ll need the payroll for manned cashier lines at all times the store is open. If sales were low, with or without theft, the additional staff isn’t justified and the store ultimately closes. In the NE where I live there are several Walmart stores that have no or very few self-checkouts due to theft. These stores have monster lines because of how sparsely Walmart staffs the front end. I’ve wondered how long these stores have to go too. But at least one of them is the only source of groceries for the area other than ethnic stores so perhaps it does okay sales wise despite the crazy lines.