CHICAGO — Walmart plans to close four stores in Chicago by mid-April, the company announced Tuesday.
The following stores will close on Sunday, April 16:
- The Chatham Supercenter, the Walmart Health Center, and the Walmart Academy, 8431 S. Stewart Ave.
- Kenwood Neighborhood Market, 4720 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
- Lakeview Neighborhood Market, 2844 N. Broadway St.
- Little Village Neighborhood Market, 2551 W. Cermak Road
Officials with the department store cited profit margins as the reasoning behind the closing.
“The simplest explanation is that collectively our Chicago stores have not been profitable since we opened the first one nearly 17 years ago – these stores lose tens of millions of dollars a year, and their annual losses nearly doubled in just the last five years. The remaining four Chicago stores continue to face the same business difficulties, but we think this decision gives us the best chance to help keep them open and serving the community,” a press release stated.
Pharmacies at the set-to-close locations will remain open to serve patients for up to 30 days.
All associates at the closing stores will be paid through Aug. 11, 2023, unless they accept a transfer to another location. Employees who choose not to transfer will receive a severance package after the Aug. 11 date.
The announcement comes just under two months after Walmart announced its closing of three stores in the Chicago suburbs. The Walmart stores in Homewood and Plainfield closed on March 10 and the Walmart Pickup location in Lincolnwood closed on Feb. 17.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was critical of Walmart for closing locations in the city’s South and West sides:
All communities in Chicago should have access to essential goods and services. That is why I’m incredibly disappointed that Walmart, a strong partner in the past, has announced the closing of several locations throughout the South and West sides of the City. Unceremoniously abandoning these neighborhoods will create barriers to basic needs for thousands of residents. While near-term arrangements will be made for workers, I fear that many will find that their long-term opportunities have been significantly diminished. I call on Walmart to ensure that these soon-to-be-closed stores are repurposed with significant community engagement so they can find a new use to serve their neighborhoods. Walmart also needs to ensure that our residents in these communities that have been left behind will continue to have a reliable source for their everyday necessities. We as a City will do everything in our power to do the same.”Statement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Chicago Alderman Howard Brookins Jr. (23rd Ward), who fought to bring Walmart to the city years ago, was disappointed by the news.
“We thought we had turned a corner,” Brookins said. “Because there were always rumors that the store was losing money for years.”
Brookins, who is set to retire, says the community will now be forced to search for other retailers, especially in some South Side neighborhoods like Chatham, which are considered to be food deserts.