Today we have made the difficult decision to close four of our stores in Chicago.
The decision to close a store is never easy. The impact is greater than just closing a building. It affects people — people who work in, shop in and live in communities near our stores — and we never take that lightly. Treating people and communities with respect and compassion during this transition will guide everything we do.
For example, all associates in these stores are eligible to transfer to another Walmart location. Hiring managers from surrounding facilities will be in each of these stores this week to help associates begin finding their next opportunity.
Having an active role in the community is especially important to us. We are proud of our neighborhood investments through local events like Christmas in the Wards, the Always Giving Back Foundation Bike Giveaway, ChiGives Back MLK Day, the Bud Billiken Day Parade and more. We will continue working with local organizations, creating solutions to challenges faced by the city and country, including racial inequity and food deserts. We continue to help create and expand job opportunities and will leverage our resources to help strengthen the community, especially those underserved.
We know the community will have questions about why we are closing these locations.
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 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.
It was hoped that these investments would help improve our stores’ performance. Unfortunately, these efforts have not materially improved the fundamental business challenges our stores are facing.
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.
With that in mind, we have made the difficult decision to close these underperforming stores in Chicago. 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.
- #5646 Little Village Neighborhood Market, 2551 W. Cermak Road
The pharmacies at these locations will remain open to serve patients for up to 30 days.
We will work with local leaders to help find reuse options for these buildings, so they remain important parts of their communities, including the Walmart Academy, which we intend to donate to the community to help further strengthen Chatham and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The associates at these stores have made an incredible difference for their customers and communities and every store is filled with stories of associates achieving remarkable things for others and for themselves. We are grateful for everything they have done. They are our priority during this transition.
- All associates are eligible to transfer to any other Walmart or Sam’s Club facility.
- Representatives from surrounding facilities will be in each of these stores to help associates find their next opportunity.
- All associates 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.
We are grateful to our associates for their contributions to their communities and for the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at these Chicago locations.