Walmart will close four of its locations in Chicago by the end of this week, including the 47th Street store on the border of Kenwood and Bronzeville. The retail giant is shuttering half of its remaining locations in the city due to the company’s failure to turn a profit in Chicago in more than a decade.
In a statement released today, April 11, Walmart announced that the following stores will close by Sunday:
- Chatham Supercenter, the Walmart Health center and the Walmart Academy, 8431 S. Stewart Ave.
- Kenwood Neighborhood Market, 4720 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
- Lakeview Neighborhood Market, 2844 N. Broadway St.
- Little Village Neighborhood Market, 2551 W. Cermak Rd.
After these stores close, however, their pharmacies will remain open and continue to serve patients for the next 30 days.
“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,” said the company in a statement. The company will pay laid-off workers through this August and is offering transfers to the city’s remaining four Walmart locations. It will also “work with local leaders to help find reuse options for these buildings.”
The Kenwood-Bronzeville location opened in 2013, the anchor tenant of the mixed-use residential building, The Shops and Lofts at 47, completed that year. The 41,000-square-foot grocery store was selected after the original tenant, an Aldi, fell through.
With its closure, the nearest full-service grocery stores are all more than a mile away. Remaining stores include the Mariano's in Bronzeville, 3857 S. Martin Luther King Dr., and two Hyde Park area grocers: Whole Foods, 5118 S. Lake Park Ave., and Hyde Park Produce Market, 1226 E. 53rd St.
Sigh. This is terrible, but sadly was expected. When our city, our neighborhood doesn't enforce basic laws against shoplifting, looting and just bad behavior - businesses close and we get God awful things like food deserts.
What is needed is private group association grocery stores like a lower end Costco where only group members are admitted, shoppers will need a card like a bank card to get admitted and there are 100% strict rules against shoplifting and looting.
I'm tired of seeing signs in Hyde Park and other areas "Black Owned Business" suggesting that's its wrong to steal, loot a Black owned business.
It used to be 98% accepted that it's wrong to steal from any store, any business. What happened to basic American morality?
This is all the more tragic because there used to be a Food 4 Less right across Cottage Grove from the Walmart. It closed a year or two after Walmart opened, presumably unable to compete with its behemoth neighbor. It may not have been perfect, but it was a full service grocery store. Walmart stayed just long enough to destroy it. Hopefully this disaster, combined with the closing of Whole Foods in Englewood, will teach city officials that mega corporations are not to be trusted. They open with great fanfare, then throw neighborhoods under the bus when it suits them.
There's just too much low income subsidized housing in Bronzeville. The area will never revitalize or gentrify it can't even keep a Walmart store cause of rampant theft.
The CHA continues to oversaturate the area with low income housing making it impossible to improve.
It's only going to get worse. No one's better going to take Walmarts place.
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