More layoffs in NE Ohio: Bedford Walmart closing

Posted at 1:07 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-16 09:43:46-05

The Wal-Mart location on Rockside Road in Bedford will be one of the 154 stores across the nation to close its doors, adding to the growing number of layoffs across Northeast Ohio in the first two weeks of 2016.

VIEW: Entire list of closing locations

The company announced Friday that they will be closing 269 stores worldwide, a big chunk of which are in its challenging Brazilian market.

The Bedford location, which employs about 300 workers, is the only one in Ohio and will close its doors on Jan. 28.

It is also the smallest city in America affected by Wal-Mart's move -- and a big blow to a city still reeling from the loss of another big employer, Ben Venue Laboratories, back in 2013. That company laid off 1,100 when it closed down.

"It's definitely going to have an impact -- a negative impact," Bedford city manager Mike Mallis said. 

Mallis said the city of 14,000 residents operates on a $15 million annual budget. Wal-Mart's move will result in a quarter-million dollar hit to that budget. 

For Dominique Edwards, who just started working at the Bedford Wal-Mart a few months ago, the move hits closer to home. 

"I have to find another job for him," Edwards said, pointing to her 2-year-old son Jayden. "I just moved, phone bill, light bill, rent."

More than 95 percent of the Wal-mart stores set to be closed in the U.S. are within 10 miles of another Wal-Mart.

The closures also include 102 of the company's smallest-format stores called Wal-Mart Express, which were opened as a test in 2011.

But in Northeast Ohio, large layoffs seem to be coming far too often in just the first 15 days of the year.

In Lorain, 461 steel workers from Republic Steel and U.S. Steel will be out of a job. Macy's closure affects 64 in Elyria, plus another 91 in Akron. 

On Thursday, spray-paint manufacturer Plasti-Kote announced it's shutting down -- and taking 98 jobs with it.

Parker Hannifan in Mayfield Heights announced Friday that they are laying off 40 workers at corporate headquarters in Mayfield Heights.

Add in the 300 from Bedford's Wal-Mart, and upwards of 1,000 Northeast Ohioans are without jobs to start off the year. 

"The economy is recovering, but it's still fragile," Mallis said. "It's still fragile."

Read more about the closures here.