The owner of the Merritt Wal-Mart McDonald’s, which recently closed its doors, says no one will lose their job.

“Our employees are very important to us and we were able to bring the staff we had from the Wal-Mart location to our other location [on River Ranch Road],” owner Brandy Walker said. “We are still hiring and there are lots of shifts available.”

The River Ranch location opened with its current owners approximately 10 years ago. Walker opened the Wal-Mart McDonald’s six years ago.

Walker co-owned the fast food restaurant with her husband and said that “despite our best efforts” the operation wasn’t as profitable as McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. requires. The decision was made by both owners and McDonald’s headquarters.

Walker said many of the customers from the Wal-Mart location now frequent the River Road spot.

That location recently closed for renovations of an extended drive-thru, an additional six feet in the restaurant area, and the addition of the McCafe coffee bar.

At Wal-Mart, all that stands in place of where the McDonald’s used to operate is a sign and a newly-ferbished wall.

The sign on the wall reads, “We want to thank all of our customers for your patronage at this location. We hope to see you at our nearby restaurant.”

Wal-Mart didn’t return phone calls by press time.

Tim Hortons owner Eric Weiser dispelled any rumours that his restaurant would open a second Merritt location in Wal-Mart.

According to a Wal-Mart employee who wanted to remain nameless, the big-box store has experienced a drop in business since the closure.

“I think it’s hurt our business a little,” he said. “I was surprised to see it close down. I always think of McDonald’s as being alongside Wal-Mart.”

McDonald’s has partnered with Wal-Mart for the last 16 years.