Walmart on San Mateo near Central to close in March

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Walmart location on San Mateo , near Central, in southeast Albuquerque will be closing in March.

Walmart confirmed Wednesday the 301 San Mateo Blvd. SE location will close by Friday, March 10.

For many low-income families, it’s the only grocery store within walking distance. 

Many people KOB 4 talked to say they rely on this store. They’re in an area their own city councilor now describes as a “food desert.”

“Oh my God, I come here every day. “It’s tough for me. I’m so sad. I don’t know what to say. It’s a shocker to me. It really is.”

When the store closes, people can get some of what they need at a nearby Dollar Tree, but the closest, comparable store is a 30-minute walk away.

“I think the closest would be the Smith’s on Lomas.

“I will be able to get what I need at Smith’s, but that will mean a bus trip, and I rather appreciate being able to walk.”

The next closest Walmart is 30 minutes away on the bus.

“It’s disappointing,” said Pat Davis, city councilor. “People who need fresh food options in their neighborhood just aren’t going to be able to get it anymore.”

This store has been open since 1985 – nearly 40 years. But every single shopper KOB 4 spoke to told us they believe shoplifting must be a reason – because they see it.

“These are deeper, underlying problems in Albuquerque. You see all the homelessness, so there are issues that need to be addressed, but I don’t think people have answers for them,” said Wilbur Bowen, another Albuquerque resident. 

Just last week, 4 Investigates exposed how much retail crime was impacting that store and others nearby. 

We asked if shoplifting was a factor in the decision, a spokesperson said, “There’s no single cause for why a store closes.” 

They say Albuquerque police was “a great partner” and expressed appreciation for their efforts to combat crime at the store.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions says Walmart employees found out Wednesday about the store closing March 10.