Why Are There No Walmarts In New York City – Here’s Why!

There is at least one Walmart in the city limits of every major US city, save for one: New York City. At first, it doesn’t seem to make much sense why Walmart wouldn’t have a storefront in the most populated city in the country. So why are there no Walmarts in New York City?

Ultimately, the answer is a mixed bag: while some of the reason is political, there are other practical reasons. Much debate has distorted the reality of Walmart’s business model: a highly populated, dense urban area creates logistical and real estate headaches that are incredibly difficult to solve, even if they could overcome the political issues.

Walmart is one of the most recognizable and popular American brands. As an iconic American brand, you can find them anywhere. Yet they have not found a way to bridge the gaps by bringing a store location to the Big Apple. That being said, some locations nearby New Yorkers might find worth the trip. 

Why would a Walmart in New York City be a bad idea?

The city is heavily populated, and big box stores would be in high demand, making logistical challenges more difficult to handle than in typical scenarios. While not impossible, it would make operations much more challenging. Logistics in New York City is already a challenge; logistics on the scale necessary to power a Walmart operation in New York City are maddeningly difficult. 

The classic problem facing any new business in New York City hits even more challenging for Walmart: real estate. The sheer size of a Walmart location requires a footprint that is incredibly difficult to acquire in the city. It’s likely even more difficult to find property owners willing to part with enough land to create the space necessary for a Walmart store. 

Many politically-charged concerns surrounding a Walmart expansion into New York City centers on rhetoric around job loss and the harm of big box stores on small businesses in the area. Despite this debate, you’ll be sorely disappointed if you’re looking for a Walmart while in the Big Apple.

Can I still purchase Walmart products in New York City?

There aren’t any physical locations in NYC, but you can still order Walmart products online in the NYC area. You can enjoy the benefits of Walmart pricing and selection from the comfort of your home, as long as you can receive mail there. You can also order to any other address where you receive mail.

Walmart online orders are filled predominantly by third-party delivery services, such as USPS, FedEx, and UPS. The choice of carrier and/or delivery service will vary from store to store but, by and large, will be available.

Additionally, Walmart has been working with partners to bring delivery directly to consumers in the NYC area, despite not having stores in the city. In a recent partnership with Instacart, Walmart made its store shelves available online to millions of New York City residents. Despite this new service, there are some limitations in the NYC area. Check your address with the Walmart website to ensure you can take advantage.

Where is the Walmart location closest to New York City?

While it technically is still true that there are no Walmart stores in New York City, Walmart has been making some. The closest Walmart location is in Valley Stream, out east past JFK airport, which was built in 2014. There are also locations in North Bergen and Secaucus in New Jersey. Depending on where you are, the next closest would be in Bayonne, just off the 440 highway.

Is New York City the only place without a Walmart?

Generally speaking, there are a lot of areas in the United States without a Walmart store. However, with more than 4,700 locations, it’s difficult to find yourself too far from one while in America. The three major exceptions would be in the heart of New York City, in the state of Hawaii, and in some of the wilderness and remote areas of the country.

Similar to NYC, you can still shop online via Walmart and take advantage of sales and selections, despite physical stores not being present. Orders will be fulfilled in distribution centers and sent through the mail.

Internationally, Walmart operates more than 10,400 different stores and clubs under their various brands and banners in 24 countries, which is an impressive global reach. This also means there are quite a few countries where Walmart does not yet have a physical presence. However, there are somewhere Walmart products that can still be purchased online and delivered locally. 


The general understanding of why there are no Walmart stores in New York City is a story of politics. Much of the narrative of that political debate revolves around jobs, protecting small businesses, and providing greater choices to consumers.

However, many other factors would cause Walmart decision makers to think twice about expanding to the Big Apple – particularly in the downtown area. 

Despite this, it’s still possible to take advantage of Walmart’s great savings and sales, even in New York City. Shopping online is becoming increasingly popular, and Walmart has made significant strides in its ability to offer online shopping options to customers. 

Walmart has long been a big contender and top producer in the retail wars. Their business model has worked to bring immense choice and savings to every corner of America. But one market they’ve been unable to pierce, at least with a physical presence, remains New York City. 

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