Walmart Shutters stores in Chicago leave customers without a place to shop

Walmart shutters stores in Chicago leave customers without a place to shop

Walmart just announced that it would be closing half of its stores in the Chicago area this weekend.

In a statement released this week, the retail giant revealed that it would close four "underperforming" locations in Chicago. They said these stores struggled to profit and lost "tens of millions of dollars a year."

The chain plans to keep four more Chicago stores operating but has admitted that those stores, too, are experiencing the same difficulties. Now, employees at closed stores are being asked to move to other locations, and locals are upset about losing their local stores. Here's the latest:

Walmart closes half of its stores in Chicago.

With the latest announcement, seven stores will be closed in Chicago, Illinois, this year alone. Wal-Mart's official statement revealed that their collective Chicago footprint "hasn't been profitable since they opened their first [store] nearly 17 years ago." Not only do these stores lose tens of millions of dollars annually, but the chain has admitted that its annual losses have nearly doubled in just the past five years.

Closures aren't just happening in Illinois; Walmart stores in Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, and New Mexico closed in the past year.

Wal-Mart said they "tried many different strategies" to improve business in Chicago, which included testing convenience stores and "localizing the product assortment."

"It was hoped that these investments would help improve the performance of our stores," the letter wrote. "Unfortunately, these efforts have not substantially improved our stores' core business challenges."

And Walmart emphasized that nothing was left to do to ensure store profitability, even when working with general leaders. The lockdown was the only answer.

The mayor says residents will miss out on "necessities" without accessible stores.

Many point out that store closures will create huge deficits in communities, particularly in those locations where grocery stores are already a scare.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated that she was "incredibly disappointed" that the company would be closing locations on the south and west sides of the city.

"The unofficial abandonment of these neighborhoods will create barriers to the basic needs of thousands of residents," she wrote. "While short-term arrangements will be made for workers, I am afraid many will find their long-term opportunities greatly diminished."

Closures will displace workers

While Wal-Mart has said its employees are a "priority" during this transition, workers will surely be displaced.

Walmart allows all workers to commute to any Walmart or Sam's Club facility, but with four stores closed, it cannot be easy to find a location nearby.

Regardless, all employees will continue to be paid through August 11 unless they move locations. If employees cannot move to another site, Walmart says "eligible" employees are entitled to severance benefits.

Residents protest the closure of shops

Since the news broke, local shoppers on Chicago's West Side have taken to the streets Friday to protest the upcoming closure, ABC 7 Chicago reported. Residents say there will be a huge void for affordable groceries with the imminent closure.

"God, now where am I going," said one of the residents of the small village. "Once this Wal-Mart shuts down, it will be detrimental to society," another told reporters.

Twitter's followers echoed that sentiment, with one writing: "Where are people supposed to go shopping now? Sad."

Locals noted that they relied on this Walmart for its walkability and reasonable prices. They indicated that competing grocers in the area do not offer competitive prices, making it difficult for low-income residents.

One protester said, "This community is a low-income community. Many seniors live here and have a steady income, so we're trying to save every dollar we have."

What Walmart Stores Are Closed?

The following Chicago stores will be closed to the public by Sunday, April 16:

#5781 Chatham Supercenter, Walmart Health Center, and Walmart Academy, 8431 S. Stewart Ave.

#3166 Kenwood Neighborhood Market, 4720 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

#5645 Lakeview Neighborhood Market, 2844 Broadway.

#5646 Little Village Neighborhood Market, 2551 W. Cermak Street

Walmart has alerted customers that pharmacies in these closing locations will remain open to serve patients for up to 30 days.

The state in the state is already closed:

#6840 N. McCormick Blvd., Lincolnwood

#12690 South, Route 59, Plainfield

#17550 S. Halsted Street, Homewood

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