The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people used to shop. Most of the customers are now shopping online and opt for the drive-thru window. This has resulted in reduced footfalls in various retail stores. Walmart is one of the retailers who are facing the brunt of the COVID-19. Because of the reduced footfall, McDonald’s has decided to close several restaurants inside of Walmart. The retailer has confirmed that the fast-food giant has decided to run only at 150 locations across its 3.570 SuperCenters. This has reduced drastically over the years as the number of restaurants at Walmart was 1,000 at one point in time.
The two corporate giants have been working in tandem for almost three decades. They have this mutually beneficial relationship as restaurants inside Walmart allow shoppers to allow them easy access to a quick meal. While this gives additional business to the restaurant, the retailer gets more money in the form of rental income. But pandemic has changed this. The footfall has reduced as many Walmart shoppers have switched to online shopping. They have their groceries delivered at home or get dropped in their trunk in the parking. This has completely eliminated the need of stepping inside stores and hence the restaurant is not getting the required number of customers.
But McDonald’s has decided not to finish the three decades of the relationship completely and therefore it will continue to run restaurants at 150 locations. The fast-food giant speeded up the decision to shut restaurants during the pandemic. Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ozan had said that closures that were expected in future years have been accelerated. The decision is apparently because McDonald’s is getting a low volume of business in these locations. Walmart is now planning to convert these locations into some other form of restaurants. Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman said that we would like to give it a more regional feel or some unique spin that may attract more customers.