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USA TODAY

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Apr 09, 2021
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McDonald’s is closing hundreds of restaurants located in Walmart stores, and approximately 150 restaurants are expected to remain after another wave of planned closures, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The closures are expected to be finalized by the summer and come after McDonald's announced last July that it was accelerating restaurant closings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But Walmart officials told USA TODAY the spaces aren't sitting empty.

"These spaces have been freeing up over time. We have been and continue to fill them," Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman said in a statement to USA TODAY. "We’re looking to both restaurants and services that are really relevant to our customers."

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About 200 U.S. McDonald's closed in 2020, and more than half were "low-volume restaurants in Walmart store locations,” Kevin Ozan, McDonald’s chief financial officer, said in July.

Blakeman said Taco Bell, Domino's and Charleys Philly Steaks have filled some spots as have local businesses like a barbershop or other services with local relevance.

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"We have a great opportunity with our leased-space business to help our stores become even more convenient and relevant to local communities," Blakeman said. "We are excited to continue to bring in new businesses that make sense for our customers and their changing needs."

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