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Walmart to close Massapequa store in March

Walmart will close its store at Westfield Sunrise

Walmart will close its store at Westfield Sunrise Mall in Massapequa in March, company officials announced Monday. This is the mall on Jan. 2, 2015. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Walmart will close its store at Westfield Sunrise Mall in Massapequa in March, company officials said Monday.

The nearly 130,000-square-foot, two-level store, located at 200 Sunrise Mall, will close on March 6.

The Massapequa store, opened in May 2003, is on the chopping block as Walmart moves toward offering grocery and fresh food as well as general merchandise in its stores.

In some cases, a store will close where Walmart couldn't build a larger store with a full line of groceries, only to reopen in another location, officials said. The officials didn't say whether that replacement pattern would occur for the Massapequa store.

"Closing the store was a business decision based on the company's analysis of our lease agreement at Sunrise Mall, which is expiring, coupled with our limited ability to offer a full assortment of fresh food and grocery at this particular location due to the store's layout," spokesman William C. Wertz said in a statement. The store's lease expires May 5.

The Massapequa store employs about 300 full-time and part-time associates. Those associates were notified Monday of the closing and all will be eligible to apply for positions at other Walmart stores. Eligible associates who are unable to find positions at other stores after April 6 may receive severance benefits equivalent to one week of pay for each full year of service, Wertz said.

"Our biggest concern is for the hundreds of Walmart associates who are now facing possible unemployment," said Kimberly Saget, an organizer for Hauppauge-based Long Island Jobs with Justice, which organizes protests against Walmart to push for higher wages and benefits for employees.

Other nearby Walmart locations include: Broadhollow Road in Farmingdale, Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow and Jerusalem Avenue in Uniondale, as well as the Neighborhood Market on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown.

Westfield issued a statement calling the departure "an exciting opportunity to add new elements, energy, choice and convenience to the center.

"Westfield has a very strong track record of . . . reorienting the merchandise mix with new anchors, specialty shops, restaurants, leisure, entertainment, and lifestyle options for our customers," the statement said, citing "the recent additions of trendy new retailers including A'GACI, F&F and Windsor" at Sunrise Mall.

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