Walmart will close four of its eight stores in Chicago by April 18.
Walmart is halving its footprint in the Windy City.
The retail giant plans to close four underperforming stores in Chicago, including three Neighborhood Market locations and one Supercenter, along with its adjacent Walmart Health center and Walmart Academy. The stores will close by April 16. (Locations listed at end of article.)
In a statement, Walmart explained its reasoning for the “difficult decision” to shutter the stores.
“The simplest explanation is that collectively our Chicago stores have not been profitable since we opened the first one nearly 17 years ago,” the company said. “These stores lose tens of millions of dollars a year, and their annual losses nearly doubled in just the last five years.”
The closings will leave Walmart with four locations in Chicago.
“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,” the retailer said.
Walmart added that it has tried many different strategies over the years to improve the business performance of its Chicago sites, including building smaller stores, localizing product assortment and offering services beyond traditional retail.
It also has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the city, including $70 million in the last couple years to upgrade its stores and build two new Walmart Health facilities and a Walmart Academy training center.
“Unfortunately, these efforts have not materially improved the fundamental business challenges our stores are facing,” the company said. “Community and city leaders have been open and supportive as we met with them over the years to share these challenges. As we looked for solutions, it became even more clear that for these stores, there was nothing leaders could do to help get us to the point where they would be profitable.
The retailer said it plans to work with local leaders to help find reuse options for the buildings, so they remain important parts of their communities. It also intends to donate the Walmart Academy to the community.
“We will continue working with local organizations, creating solutions to challenges faced by the city and country, including racial inequity and food deserts,” the company said.
Walmart noted that employees at the stores scheduled to close are eligible to transfer to any other Walmart or Sam’s Club location. All employees will be paid until Aug. 11, 2023, unless they transfer to another location during that time. After Aug. 11, if they do not transfer, eligible associates will receive severance benefits.
The following stores will close to the public by Sunday, 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. ; and
•#5646 Little Village Neighborhood Market, 2551 W. Cermak Road.