Midland, Texas is in the heart of the Texas oil country. Founded in 1881 as the halfway point on the railroad between Fort Worth and El Paso, Midland was originally a cattle town. In 1923, oil was discovered there and the town boomed. Many of the downtown buildings still reflect the art deco construction of the 1920s and 1930s. The city gained fame in the early 2000s as the hometown of President George W. Bush. Today, Midland is feeling the effects of the most recent oil bust, but is even more famous for something else: a closed Walmart.
Until recently Midland was a two Walmart town. One store was located on the north side of town and another the south. That changed in April when the retailer suddenly closed the north side store along with other stores in Livingston, Texas, Pico Rivera, Calif., Tulsa, Okla., and Brandon, Fla. The Midland store closing included layoffs for most of the 456 employees according to the Dallas Morning News. The Midland Reporter-Telegram notes that the store will be closed for approximately six months. Other area businesses are concerned because they benefit from the customers that Walmart draws to the area.