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Walmart Closing Four Stores in Chicago, Saying They Lose Millions Annually

Walmart Closing Four Stores in Chicago, Saying They Lose Millions Annually

“The simplest explanation is that collectively our Chicago stores have not been profitable since we opened the first one nearly 17 years ago”

Two days ago, we learned that Whole Foods is shutting down a store in San Francisco. Now we are finding out that Walmart is closing four stores in Chicago.

This news comes just as Democrats have announced their plans to hold their 2024 convention in the city.

CBS News reports:

Walmart is closing 4 stores in Chicago, the latest in a series of planned shutters

Walmart has begun closing more than a dozen stores in major cities in recent months, the latest being four locations in Chicago.

Located in the Chathem, Kenwood, Lakeview and Little Village neighborhoods, the four Walmart stores are part of a list of 19 closings in 11 states and Washington, D.C., slated for this year, reported Business Insider. Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported job cuts at the retail giant’s e-commerce fulfillment centers in Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and New Jersey, impacting over 2,000 workers.

The nation’s largest employer said Tuesday the Chicago stores have collectively been losing tens of millions of dollars annually and have not been profitable since the first of the four opened almost 17 years ago. Walmart also said it tried several different business strategies to improve the performance at the locations, including investing $70 million in recent years.

“Unfortunately, these efforts have not materially improved the fundamental business challenges our stores are facing,” the company said in a statement, adding that the stores will close for good on Sunday.

In their official announcement, Walmart dances around the obvious. Crime:

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.

Some people who live in Chicago are angry about this decision. What did they expect?

NBC News in Chicago reports:

Customers Slam Walmart for Closing Chatham Supercenter: ‘It’s a Slap in the Face’

Regina Dickey went for an appointment at a new primary care clinic in Chatham Tuesday. Newly furnished and close to home, she thought she’d come back and was disappointed to learn she’d never get the chance.

Dickey, 38, is in fine health, but the clinic where she went and the store it’s attached to – a Walmart supercenter on the South Side – is not, according to its owners.

The supercenter is one of four Chicago stores that Walmart announced Tuesday will close by Sunday, joining other grocery stores — particularly on Chicago’s South and West sides — that have closed in recent months.

In addition to the Chatham Supercenter, the Walmart Health center and the Walmart Academy, at 8431 S. Stewart Ave., the other stores closing are the Kenwood Neighborhood Market, at 4720 S. Cottage Grove Ave.; Little Village Neighborhood Market, at 2551 W. Cermak Road; and Lakeview Neighborhood Market, at 2844 N. Broadway.

“This is going to cause a lot of issues for people in the community,” Dickey said. “Not cool.”

Dickey said she shopped there and at the Walmart in Kenwood (also closing) regularly.

“It’s like they didn’t even give a thought to the people in these communities,” Dickey said.

Angry Chicagoans should take this up with their local leaders. That’s who failed them, not Walmart.


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Fat_Freddys_Cat | April 13, 2023 at 11:04 am

No doubt the “progressives” will start whinging “Peeple not profits!” AOC will demonstrate once again that she should get her money back for that economics degree she got.

2smartforlibs | April 13, 2023 at 11:11 am

This is what Capitalism looks like when it’s working. The government not picking the winners and losers.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to 2smartforlibs. | April 13, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Another example of Capitalism at its finest was in Portland Oregon several yers back. Trader Joe’s were all set to open a store in northeast or north Portland; some special deal with the city council or some such. The area in question is heavily black.

    Surveys were done, plans drawn up, and the ball got rolling. Suddenly, the “Reverends” and “community leaders” lined up to make demands. Black contractors regardless the cost. Priority given to blacks in hiring staff. Black this and black that.

    Trader Joe’s tried to work compromises, but the tribal chieftains “Reverends” and “community leaders wouldn’t budge.

    Trader Joe’s stopped the project and walked away.

      Suddenly, the “Reverends” and “community leaders” lined up to make demands.

      I’ve seen the same demands and complaints directed at mom-and-pop stores:
      Such stores typically are staffed by family members, and only hire others when absolutely necessary. That’s the way it’s been since forever. But black “leaders” demanded that these tiny stores hire people “from the community”, lest they be seen as “racists” and “exploiters”. Do not waste your time explaining economics to these fools and frauds.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to 2smartforlibs. | April 13, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    I liked “Some people who live in Chicago are angry”, they apparently don’t understand that no one cares.

Dolce Far Niente | April 13, 2023 at 11:12 am

The inevitable result of decades of progressive policies always appear to be a complete surprise to those who voted for them.

Its almost as if the Nirvana that Democrats promise is unobtainable.
(Nah, cain’t be; vote D!)

I am surprised the Lakeview store is closing.

(Whigley Field is in Lakeview.)

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | April 13, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    I rather suspect that eventually all 8 stores will be closing. The other 4 aren’t profitable either.

    Subotai Bahadur

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | April 13, 2023 at 2:57 pm

      Walmart and other stores should just rip the Band-Aid off, close all of them. We should also consider walling off cities, then bypass them with xways.

Sadly the miscalculation is that the criminals will just move to other stores. just like any other predator, When the local prey source dries up they expand their territorial range.

    Eric R. in reply to starride. | April 13, 2023 at 11:36 am

    In fact, this is a reason why a lot of retail chains DO have a branch in a poor, black area – it is designed to be sacrificial – they let that one take the theft losses and the crime, otherwise the people in that violent neighborhood fan out to two or three other branches outside the neighborhood and drive those out of business.

      amwick in reply to Eric R.. | April 13, 2023 at 1:52 pm

      That does make sense.. and it probably was exactly what Walmart was doing.. but the numbers became too one sided.. Crime hurts low income people more than most.

        Think38 in reply to amwick. | April 13, 2023 at 7:03 pm

        Crime almost always hurts the poor the most. Among the poor, it tends to impact the elderly and other vulnerable sub-groups.

        One of the ways it damages the poor is they pay more for basics, like food and TP. Many people can go to mega-stores near them in the suburbs. Costs are cheaper. In a more urban area, low costs stores are often not a viable alternative (without a longer trip to the burbs). Crime is the primary reason.

      amatuerwrangler in reply to Eric R.. | April 13, 2023 at 3:01 pm

      Like the Zinc block(s) on an iron hull in salt water…. The store is an economic sacrificial anode.

    henrybowman in reply to starride. | April 14, 2023 at 12:47 am

    Even if they expand their range, they eventually end up expanding it out to somewhere where they don’t have a Soros DA and woke PD, and the store can fight back without being persecuted.

Sounds like Walmart is making a rational decision based on financial and economic info. The local Dems can take the credit for eliminating another source of oppressive capitalism.

I suspect that major corporations were holding off on these decisions until after the results of the recent mayoral election were known. Reportedly, there was only about 35% turnout. Elections have consequences.

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to jb4. | April 14, 2023 at 12:52 pm

    The column ends by saying that angry Chicagoans should take this up with their local leaders. Those local leaders are th3 wrong people on which to focus. They are the product of the angry Chicagoans who gave them the power to ruin things.

      JackinSilverSpring in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | April 14, 2023 at 12:56 pm

      The column ends by saying that angry Chicagoans should take this up with their local leaders. Those local leaders are the wrong people on which to focus. They are the product of the angry Chicagoans who gave them the power to ruin things. The people on whom to focus are the angry Chicagoans themselves. They need to think long and hard about whom they’re voting for. If they can’t figure that out then this mess on them.

I’ve read other news articles on the Walmart closings, and it’s remarkable how they dance around the issue of theft and other crime. Talk about whistling past the graveyard.

Every step in the Chicago supply chain bleeds cash. From the Teamsters running the trucks to the union contracts wrapped around every human who shows up at the store to change a light bulb or adjust a freezer, from the boxes of stuff that just ‘vanish’ off the truck before they show up to the employees walking out the back door to load up their vehicles with steaks before heading home after their shift is up, to the endless stream of shoplifters that it does no good to call the police on because nothing will ever be done to them, to the homeless people who wander the store and break into cars in the parking lot. It doesn’t matter if they can buy lemons at a dollar and sell them at two since no lemons survive to the checkout lanes.

I’m wondering if Wal-Mart will cave in a small way to the Order Online trend and keep one or more stores open as pickup warehouses, i.e. order off the internet, pay by card in advance, drive in and have your orders loaded into the car, and drive away. A lot of leakage (i.e. criminal theft) could be stopped cold that way.

    CommoChief in reply to georgfelis. | April 13, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    It would stop shoplifting with no store access by customers but wouldn’t folks be exposed to getting their groceries jacked when the associate wheels them outside?

The Gentle Grizzly | April 13, 2023 at 11:53 am

This is nii oh thing but racism at work.

/sarc tag for the humor impaired.

The voters deserve all the blame.

Use the classic Soviet style of running a store. Take a number, wait in line to pay for the item..Go to next line and wait to present your paid token for the item you purchased. Hope they have it. It will come to that… either from theft or collapse of the system with rationing.

    Ironclaw in reply to alaskabob. | April 13, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    Even here they have most small things that have any cost associated with them locked in display cases. Even cheap stuff like wired earbuds.

Unspoken in Walmart’s statement is the fact that the company is tired of paying “reparations” (AKA, losses due to shoplifting primarily by thieves “of color”).

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to guyjones. | April 13, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Big corporations like Walmart will never admit that they are closing stores do to the rampant theft from entitled blacks. They will always talk around the issue and use euphemistic statements such as, “the stores were unprofitable” or “didn’t meet expectations over the years” instead of simply stating that too many blacks were shoplifting and stealing from these stores.

    Of course, nothing is solved by doing this. The blacks will simply move on to other stores with their thieving. Lather, rinse, repeat and sooner than later all the stores will have closed.

      True. Ponder the gall and stupidity of the woman quoted in the NBC News story on the situation. She absurdly blames Walmart for closing the stores, when her ire is more fairly and properly directed at the Dumb-o-crat politicians and prosecutors in Chicago whose coddling of and lax treatment of criminals enables the very thefts and predations that caused these stores to close.

      JackinSilverSpring in reply to Lucifer Morningstar. | April 14, 2023 at 1:01 pm

      That will happen until most stores have closed. We may end up with a situation where everything has to be ordered online. Of course, these thieves may figure out they need to hijack delivery trucks, in which case I’m not sure what will happen.

      “The [thieves] will simply move on to other stores.” Or maybe not. Suburbs are generally other legal jurisdictions than the big cities. The ones that keep their Walmarts and the jobs and tax revenue that comes with them will be the ones that arrest shoplifters and give them as long a jail sentence as possible.

They really need to
It as it is

Major thief and inability to police

Decent people have to understand the real problem

“This is going to cause a lot of issues for people in the community,” Dickey said. “Not cool.”
No, very cool, I’m a former employee of Wal-Mart and a stockholder. And the community is causing a lot of issues for Wal-Mart. It’s not mentioned in the article, the loss by shoplifting, criminal mischief, fighting, etc. That. is why the company is getting the f^&* out of Dodge, Chicago, NY, etc.

healthguyfsu | April 13, 2023 at 1:14 pm

Businesses do not owe you, the consumer, their profits nor their continued acceptance of your patronage.

Get over it and move or enact change.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 13, 2023 at 3:21 pm

    Sams Club will still get the business, small stores will open in those areas, buy from Sams, then double the price. Poetic justice.

That five-finger discount adds up over time.

Lucifer Morningstar | April 13, 2023 at 1:47 pm

Not sure what it says about the state of the United States when big companies like Walmart find it more economical and perhaps profitable to close stores than to spend the money to deal with the rampant theft from their stores. You can be certain it isn’t good.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Lucifer Morningstar. | April 13, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    You get out while the getting is good. Hang on too long, and the losses in your ghetto stores drag the others down with it.

    How do you propose they “deal with the rampant theft from their stores”? If they call the cops, the cops are too busy with more serious calls to handle a shoplifting call. If they are lucky enough to get a cop on a slow day to collect the perp, the perp will be released no-bond before the store shift changes. Finally, the DA decides it’s not important enough to charge, convict and jail people who are only affecting (read killing) the retail community, so charges are dropped altogether.

    If you’ve got a viable solution that Walmart can use independent of the other aspects of the problem I’ve listed above, then spit it out, because they’d probably love to hear it.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to DJ9. | April 13, 2023 at 2:25 pm

      Add in, from the point of view of the cops remaining in Chicago [and if they are decent cops they should be looking to work elsewhere] there is a not negligible risk that if you should arrest a protected class, that you will be accused of some violation of civil rights that will bankrupt you. And your chain of command will back the person you arrested regardless of the truth of the matter.

      Subotai Bahadur

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to DJ9. | April 13, 2023 at 3:37 pm

      I wasn’t proposing that they had any viable solutions to the problem of rampant thievery from blacks. They’ve tried. I remember they once put all black hair care products behind a locked cabinet door. Blacks had to get an employee to open the door and then said employee took the item right to a register. The blacks had a hissy fit like you never thought possible. Just because Walmart decided to try and deter the black thieves. Walmart apologized and removed the black hair care products from the cabinet. Then they tried another tact. At least at the Walmart I’m familiar with. They put turnstiles in at the inner entrance to the store so that customers could enter the store but couldn’t exit through the turnstiles with or without carts. It forced all customers to exit through the register area where they could be observed. Not sure what happened but not long after the turnstiles were installed the were removed and the flow of shoplifters into and out of the store started up again. Then there was the tiktok video of the outraged girl accusing Walmart of racism because they put security tags on all the “dark colored cosmetics” but didn’t do the same for the lighter colored cosmetics on the rack.

      Walmart is screwed no matter what they do. So closing the stores makes absolute sense to me. They have no other choice.

    Imagine they actually tried proper loss prevention and they caught some of the perpetrators. They would be racist in all caps. That is a no-win situation, the only winning play is to pull out

chrisboltssr | April 13, 2023 at 1:54 pm

I just left Chicago where my daughter was having a V-Ball tournament. Chicago is a cesspool. Their infrastructure is rusted, graffiti is everywhere, streets are dilapidated with potholes all over, and several buildings looked bombed out.

Then we drive out to the suburbs to visit my wife’s family. They live in Palatine. It is night and day between there and Chicago. Clean, well-kept (save for a Circle K bathroom…won’t go into details on that). Same is true for St. Charles and Elburn.

We visited my wife’s grandparents house and the neighborhood where it is located is horrible. But I got to see houses with the LGBT flag and a Black Lives Matter sign.

And we didn’t go anywhere near south Chicago. Closest we came was on MLK Dr, but we went on the good side because the tournament was at McCormick Place. South MLK Dr. and all the buildings started looking like they were bombed out. You don’t want to be caught on any street named after Rev. King. None of them lead to good outcomes.

Chicago is a cesspool and I have no desire to go back ever.

    nordic prince in reply to chrisboltssr. | April 13, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    A couple of years ago (pre-“covid”) I was driving for a suburban taxi company. A handful of times I had a school ride that went from Palatine all the way south past Comiskey Park (or whatever they’re calling it these days… it will always be Comiskey Park).

    I was so glad that the ride was in the early afternoon, so I never had to be there after dark.

    Ironclaw in reply to chrisboltssr. | April 13, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    It’s pretty much a universal truth that if a city has a Martin Luther King Drive you don’t want to go there.

The attitude of some of these misguided black Dumb-o-crats represents such galling hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance. These idiots support criminal-coddling, Dumb-o-crat prosecutors and politicians who enable shoplifters and robbers to thrive, and, when businesses predictably react to protect their employees and their bottom line, by closing up shop, they blame the stores!

Similar to how, a few years ago (in Oregon, or, Washington State, I believe) a bunch of black community activists successfully prevented a proposed Trader Joe’s grocery store from opening in a neighborhood, claiming that such a store would attract too many non-blacks and “gentrify” the neighborhood. But, when these stores choose not to open in predominantly black neighborhoods, these same idiotic hypocrites complain about the lack of grocery stores, healthy produce and good-paying jobs.

You simply cannot win with these victimhood-wallowing, perennial grievance-mongering, black Dumb-o-crats.

None of the reporting mentions the actual reason for the lack of profitability: the massive un-prosecuted shoplifting.

Even Walmart won’t say it. Since they have already given up, why bother?

This is as close as they come:

“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,” the release said.

They don’t even bother to blame the pro-criminal politicians. There was “nothing they could do.”

No, there was nothing they would do. And for the blacks complaining about the “slap in the face to blacks”?

We know who they just overwhelmingly voted for: the most overtly pro-criminal mayor in America yet.

stevewhitemd | April 13, 2023 at 3:04 pm

Why are the thieves hitting Walmart? For the same reason Wille Sutton robbed banks — that’s where the goods are.

The thieves take stuff and either fence or sell directly for cash on the street. There is virtually no risk in a blue urban center.

Close the Walmarts in the central urban zones? Okay, the thieves will go further to find ones that are open. No problem, they’re stealing the rides anyways.

And they’ll steal cars to hit the nicer areas of the city — witness all the problems the Michigan Avenue shopping district has had. They steal two cars — one to crash through the front plate-glass window to get into the store, and one to make their getaway.

Who’s going to stop them? Not the store managers and employees; they get paid regardless. It’s not their stuff. Not the security guards; they’re the ones who go to jail if they use force. Not the police, they’re almost always too late and as we know, the DA will just let the thieves out of jail.

No, the thieves are more likely to be stopped by the owner of a bodega or convenience store, someone whose ability to feed his family depends on the merchandise not walking away. The smarter thieves know this.

We’ve brought this on ourselves, and it won’t stop until the thieves, one way or another, realize that thieving isn’t profitable anymore.

I am waiting for the news blurb where a local says “I have been shoplifting there for years.”

    “Merchandise relocation” – the newest “occupation” for those who are not educated by Democrats to do anything better? Another new one around here is “catalytic converter replacement”. They do the first part of the job, removing the old one.

In a short time after the freak Chicago just elected Mayor,, Chicago is going to long for the good old days under Lightfoot.

“It’s like they didn’t even give a thought to the people in these communities,” Dickey said.

It’s almost like the community thugs stealing everything not bolted to the floor and the Dems in charge levying unsustainable taxes while refusing to take the losses by WalMart seriously had no thought about how a business works.

The Walmart heirs are all big libs. They will die stupid. They are so rich three generations will die stupid.

barbiegirl ny | April 14, 2023 at 8:45 am

That it took Walmart this long to wake up is the real head-scratcher.

“It’s like they didn’t even give a thought to the people in these communities,”

The “theys” of the USA give a LOT of thought to the ‘people’ of those communities and we give it our all to avoid them in totality. The further apart we are the better. It is a shame that major oceans do not separate us.

Capitalist-Dad | April 14, 2023 at 10:59 am

I ignore all the wailing about “food deserts.” The people keep electing Democrats—lying, looting, control freaks—and this is the predictable result. In Chicago I am acquainted with a rehabber who “donates” to the local alderman whenever he has an open house in a rotten area—and presto, drugs and prostitution disappear for that weekend. Like everything else in this Democrat cesspool, law enforcement is for sale.