Walmart Opens First Express Store in Chicago

Walmart Stores Inc. opened the doors of its first Walmart Express store in Chicago July 27, according to a published report. The store is located at the edge of the Catham Market shopping center on the city's South Side

The location is the first of five Express stores planned for Chicago, a test market for the smaller store format, which occupies 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, one-tenth the size of a Walmart Supercenter, the Chicago Tribune reported. Walmart Express stores carry fresh groceries, pharmacy, and health and beauty items.

Richfield, N.C., and Walmart’s home state, Arkansas, are also test markets for the store format. The Bentonville-based company plans to build five Express stores in each market. The other Chicago Express stores will be located at Broadway and Addison streets in Wrigleyville, slated to open later in 2011; at South Western Avenue and West 71st Street, slated to open in early 2012; at Chicago Avenue and Franklin Street, slated to open in spring 2012; and at a to-be-determined location, according to the report.

Walmart also recently broke ground on a Chatham Supercenter, located at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue in Chicago, the company noted.

“This day has been a long time coming – it’s just one more step we are taking to ensure the economic vitality of West Chatham and the South Side,” said city alderman Howard Brookins. “This Supercenter will help residents living in nearby food deserts have easy access to reasonably priced quality produce -- something that we are working very hard to ensure for all Chicago residents.”

The company plans to build two Walmart Supercenters and three Walmart Markets in Chicago as part of its “Chicago Community Investment Partnership,” a five-year plan to open several dozen stores, create approximately 10,000 jobs and 2,000 unionized construction jobs, generate more than $500 million in sales and property taxes, and develop charitable partnerships worth $20 million. The mega-retailer revealed the plan in June 2010.

The Chatham Supercenter is expected to generate approximately 400 jobs, according to Walmart.

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