Walmart said the four stores it is closing in Chicago have underperformed for many years.
Following years of challenges and investments, Walmart is shuttering four underperforming stores, its Walmart Academy and a Walmart Health center in Chicago. According to the retailer, its stores within the city have not been profitable since the first one opened nearly 17 years ago, and have lost tens of millions of dollars a year.
Those four stores have seen their annual losses nearly double over the last five years, despite Walmart’s attempts to improve business performance, including building smaller stores, localizing product assortment and offering additional services. The retailer invested $70 million over the last few years alone to upgrade its stores and build two new Walmart Health facilities and a Walmart Academy training center.
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Affected stores will close on April 16, though pharmacies will remain open for up to 30 days. The Chatham Supercenter at 8431 S. Stewart Avenue, as well as the Walmart Health center and the Walmart Academy at the location are slated for closure.
Other stores closing include:
- #5645 Lakeview Neighborhood Market, 2844 N. Broadway Street
- #3166 Kenwood Neighborhood Market, 4720 S. Cottage Grove Avemue
- #5646 Little Village Neighborhood Market, 2551 W. Cermak Road
Although the four remaining Walmart stores in Chicago are facing the same business difficulties, the retailer believes the closures will help keep them open and serving the community. The company will work with local leaders to help find reuse options for the closed buildings, and it is anticipated that the Walmart Academy will be donated to the community.
All associates are eligible to transfer to any other Walmart or Sam’s Club facility and will be paid until Aug. 11, unless they transfer to another location during that time. If they do not transfer by that date, eligible associates will receive severance benefits.
Walmart has already closed several other Chicagoland stores this year, including stores in the suburbs of Homewood and Plainfield, and another pickup-only site in Lincolnwood. Stores in Milwaukee; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Pinellas Park, Fla., have also been shuttered.
In February, the retailer stated in a memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal that it was shutting down three of its U.S. technology hubs, located in Austin, Texas; Portland, Ore.; and Carlsbad, Calif. Hundreds of affected workers were forced to relocate in order to keep their jobs, though Walmart said it would pay for workers in those locations to transfer.
Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.