Walmart Closes Store in Dallas' Redbird Neighborhood

Residents will have to travel to neighboring cities like DeSoto and Duncanville for fresh produce

The Walmart Supercenter on Wheatland Road in the Dallas Redbird area closed forever on Friday and loyal customers had a hard time believing the company's claim that it was a low performing store.

Rene Muiruri said the store always seemed to be very busy.

"Look at the location. If that's the case, how is Home Depot surviving? You've got too many locations, fast food and gas stations here. That can't possibly be true," she said.

Tennell Atkins represents the neighborhood on the Dallas City Council.

"We need to call Walmart to the table. I think Walmart owes the community an explanation," Atkins said.

When it comes to healthy food, residents in the area do not have many options. According to U.S. Census data, portions of the area in food deserts, which is defined by any area that lacks a quality grocery within a mile of their community. [[508804271,C]]

"The store closing will impact the community and especially people that don't have transportation or the funds to travel farther to get groceries," said customer TLaTasha Ford.

There are three other major food retailers within approximately four miles of the Walmart. Residents would have to travel to neighboring cities like DeSoto and Duncanville for fresh produce.

Two Dallas Police Union leaders this week, urging the Dallas District Attorney not to stop prosecuting theft of food from stores, said shoplifting was a major problem at the Wheatland Road store.

Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said Friday that Walmart was not reporting the problem to police.

Dallas Police records show no crime reported at the Wheatland Road address in the past year and just five minor incidents in the past 5 years.

"Walmart has an image and it has other stores," customer Rene Muiruri said.

Walmart spokesperson Anne Hatfield said every store has some shoplifting but many factors contributed to the decision to close the Wheatland Road store.

Walmart closes its Redbird store in one of Dallas' food desert communities.

"It's not accurate to say the store closed because of shoplifting," Hatfield said.

Hatfield said there are 12 other Walmart Stores within 10 miles of the Wheatland Road location and this store had been open since 1986.

This is the only store in Texas that Walmart has closed this year.

Councilman Atkins said he is angry about how Walmart treated the neighborhood where some people walked to the store to get their groceries.

"Hopefully other grocery stores will see a opportunity," Atkins said.

About 400 people worked at the Walmart Supercenter.

Employees leaving the store Friday said they had all received jobs at other Walmart locations in North Texas.

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