Walmart announced it is shutting down half of its Chicago stores, citing losses of “tens of millions of dollars a year.”
As CNN reports, Walmart doubled down on its commitment to its Chicago stores in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. The commitment was part of the company’s broader efforts to support racial equality. Just a couple of years later, and the company is confronting the economic realities of the decision, concluding it is no longer sustainable.
“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 company wrote in a blog post. “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.”
“Over the years, we have tried many different strategies to improve the business performance of these locations, including building smaller stores, localizing product assortment and offering services beyond traditional retail. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the city, including $70 million in the last couple years to upgrade our stores and build two new Walmart Health facilities and a Walmart Academy training center.”
The closures are a stunning turnaround after years of Walmart and local politicians working to help bring the big-box retailer to Chicago’s underserved communities.
The following stores are slated for closure by April 16:
- #5781 Chatham Supercenter, the Walmart Health center, and the Walmart Academy, 8431 S. Stewart Ave.
- #3166 Kenwood Neighborhood Market, 4720 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
- #5645 Lakeview Neighborhood Market, 2844 N. Broadway St.
- #5646 Little Village Neighborhood Market, 2551 W. Cermak Road
The company says the pharmacies at those locations will continue serving customers for up to 30 days.