Bentonville, AR-based Walmart Inc. BB #:143789 is closing four of eight stores in the Chicago city limits effective April 16.
The company said in a statement the stores, collectively, have not been profitable in the 17 years they’ve operated and after losing “tens of millions” of dollars a year, annual losses shot up sharply.
“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.”Walmart statement
The company plans to focus on trying to keep the other four stores within the city limits open.
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.Walmart Statement
The stores affected include one Supercenter and three Neighborhood Market locations:
- #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 company found Chicago a difficult retail landscape and attempted numerous fixes over the years, including building smaller stores, localizing product assortment, and offering more services beyond traditional retail.
“We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the city, including $70 million in the last couple of years to upgrade our stores and build two new Walmart Health facilities, and a Walmart Academy training center,” the company said. “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. “
This is the second time Walmart has announced closures centered in a major metro area this year. The company pulled out of the Portland, OR, city limits for “financial reasons,” and closed two pickup-only locations — including one in the Chicago metro area — earlier this year.