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The Aquilian

    The closing of the H Street Walmart leaves a hole in the community

    The+H+Street+Walmart%2C+which+has+been+a+popular+off+campus+spot+for+students%2C+is+closing+at+the+end+of+March.+Photo+by+Aidan+Melley
    The H Street Walmart, which has been a popular off campus spot for students, is closing at the end of March. Photo by Aidan Melley
    By Aidan Melley—

    For the past decade, the Walmart located on H Street, just a mere two-minute walk from campus, has been an affordable source for students and the local residents to buy groceries, clothes and other items. At the end of  March, this Walmart will close, leaving a hole in the community. 

    The H Street Walmart, one of 10 locations that the company has closed so far in 2023, is closing due to not meeting financial expectations. The store has faced many issues including having empty shelves and refrigerators. This happened most recently last month. 

    The store has been a popular off-campus spot for students to buy items from since its opening in 2013. Students buy snacks, drinks and other items during lunch periods and after school. Walmart provides students with a place to buy these items without having to travel far off campus. It also gives students more options for food if they don’t feel like buying a full meal from Quickway, Subway or District Rico, which are also located on H Street. 

    Many student athletes like Charlie Scherer, senior, buy energy drinks and protein bars a couple of times a week before practices. If a student forgets to wear a belt, or needs a white T-shirt for a “whiteout” at a football game, they can buy a belt or t-shirt without spending a lot of money. Overall, having a Walmart so close to campus has benefited students greatly and the students are appreciative of this resource. 

    “I feel like there’s always enough employees, and they are usually doing a pretty good job,” Scherer said. “Walmart’s useful for going in and getting a quick thing.” 

    Underclassmen find the Walmart useful, as well. Gabe Routh, sophomore, is a frequent visitor to the store and often buys bananas, peanuts, chicken sandwiches and candy. The Walmart gives students like Routh the opportunity to buy snacks between the end of the school day and after school activities. 

    “I’m definitely satisfied when I go to Walmart. There’s a ton of stuff there, and I get everything I need,” Routh said. 

    With the Walmart closing at the end of March, students and local residents will have to find other places to shop. Students will have to travel farther off campus if they need an essential item such as a belt or T-shirt and athletes will have to find other places to buy their protein bars and energy drinks. 

    A sign on the doors of the Walmart alerts customers of the closing Photo by Aidan Melley

    Scherer, being a senior, isn’t worried about himself because he will only have to adjust for a couple of months before graduating, but he is aware of how it affects the larger community. 

    “For everybody else, it’s going to definitely affect them. It’s also going to affect the people around here because it’s most likely going to cause a big food desert,” Scherer said. 

    When the news of the closing broke at the end of February, some students were caught off guard, but others weren’t surprised. 

    “I was really sad, but I wasn’t exactly shocked because I do know a lot of people steal from there,” Routh said. 

    The shoplifting is a part of the main reason for the closure: financial failure. 

    There has yet to be an announcement on what will replace the Walmart, but students have begun to talk about what they hope the location will be replaced by. Routh has heard rumors that a Dicks Sporting Goods could be the replacement, but he is hoping for something more similar to Walmart. 

    “I think Harris Teeter or some sort of other store could go there, and I think that would make more sense,” Routh said. 

    It will be interesting to find out what fills the hole Walmart is leaving and the hope is that it will be something that will benefit the community and be an affordable option for students and the local residents. 

     

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