Walmart Closes 5 Stores Because of Plumbing Issues, Speculation Ensues-Truth! & Unproven!

Walmart Closes 5 Stores Because of Plumbing Issues, Speculation Ensues-Truth! & Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:
Walmart said it had closed five stores in one day to fix plumbing problems, which sparked speculation that the stores were closed for other reasons.
The Truth:
All we know for certain is that Walmart said it closed five stores in mid-April of 2015 to fix plumbing problems.
Conspiracy theories about the “real” reasons Walmart closed its stores have run rampant, but they’re nothing more than conspiracy theories at this point.
Walmart closed the stores on April 13, 2015, without advance notice. It said that it would take about six months to fix plumbing problems before they would reopen. The stores were located in California, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas. A Walmart spokesperson told the Consumerist:

“Our goal, of course, as a business is to keep our stores open and serving customers. We made a tough business decision in five locations around the country to fix recurring plumbing problems in these stores. We understand this decision has been difficult on our associates and our customers and we aim to reopen these stores as soon as these issues are resolved and improvements are made.”

But county officials, contractors and store employees have cast doubts about Walmart’s “plumbing problems.” WFLA-TV in Tampa, Florida, reported that there were no code or permit violations at a store in Brandon, Florida, that closed:

“Walmart is claiming plumbing problems are to blame and the store would reopen in six months. But Walmart plumbing technician Codi Bauer tells 8 On Your Side he is suspicious.

“‘Even if they had to replace the whole sewer line, it wouldn’t take six months to replace a whole sewer line in that store,’ he said.

“The company also told Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist something different.

“’No [the Walmart official] didn’t mention anything about plumbing. He just said repairs and updates to the store,’ Crist said.

“A separate letter sent to the county claims the layoffs are permanent.”

And there weren’t any permits taken out for large-scale plumbing projects at any of the five stores, an ABC affiliate reports.
Those apparent inconsistencies and unanswered questions about Walmart’s so-called plumbing problems have led to widespread speculation.
A Walmart employee from the Pico Rivera Walmart in California speculated that the store had been closed because of labor issues there, a CBS affiliate reports:

“Seven-year Walmart worker Venanzi Luna says the Pico Rivera location has been a hotbed for worker activism and some are skeptical thinking the company may be targeting employees who have spoken out.

“As a longtime member of the Organization United for Respect (OUR) at Walmart, a group funded by the Food Workers Union, Luna has led strikes and sit-ins to fight for higher wages.”

Another theory was that the stores had been closed because of a planned multi-state military exercise called Jade Helm 15. Click here for a previous story on that.
That theory doesn’t necessarily make sense, however, because the exercise wasn’t scheduled to take place in Florida or Oklahoma, where two closed Walmart stores were closed.
Others have speculated that the Walmart stores would be turned into FEMA camps, but there’s no proof of that, either. has reached out to Walmart for comment. Future updates will be posted here.