Walmart closes 4 Chicago locations permanently, leaving residents with fewer shopping options

Loss of Walmart pharmacy has many concerned

ByMichelle Gallardo and Maher Kawash and Stephanie Wade WLS logo
Monday, April 17, 2023
4 Chicago Walmart stores close permanently
What Walmarts are closing in Chicago? Four locations of the store closed permanently on Sunday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- By the end of the day Sunday, four Walmart stores in Chicago shut down forever.

The retailer said it closed the stores because they were underperforming. Residents and community leaders are skeptical.

People in the communities affected will have to travel farther for groceries and other necessities.

READ MORE | Chicago Walmart stores closing: Why some big box stores can't turn a profit in urban areas

The abrupt closing comes just five days after residents in Chatham, Lakeview, Little Village and Bronzeville found out about Walmart's decision to close the stores.

"It's one less option. Came here for lower prices. So now I'm here for one last time to get what I need," said Michael Gerald, a Little Village resident. "They just suddenly say, 'we're closing,' and, it's like, that's it? No warning though?"

People are upset, and expressed that frustration in another rally in Chatham on Sunday.

Walmart said the stores have not been profitable over the years, claiming to have lost tens of millions of dollars.

SEE ALSO | Little Village residents protest, petition against imminent Walmart store closure

The concern for many comes with another pharmacy leaving, as well as Walmart being an option for healthy food and produce.

"Wow, the pharmacy. This overall, not being here, it's going to be very devastating to the community," said Roslyn Rodgers.

Residents have said they feel left out.

"I would like this area to look no different than other areas that I visit," customer Kenyatta Washington said. "There's Mariano's, there's Whole Foods, there's Target, Walmart -- what's so different about this neighborhood? We pay taxes as well."

The car line for groceries in Chatham stretched around the parking lot. It was not for the store itself, but for one of 1,000 free food boxes being distributed by My Block, My Hood, My City, which organized the giveaway to highlight the plight of a community that already had a scarcity of affordable healthy food options even before the announced closure.

"It's a trend we're seeing with the Walmarts, the Whole Foods, the Targets. Everyone gets so excited when they hear they're coming to the neighborhood, especially they have the fresh foods, the fresh vegetables. And then, within a matter of years, the corporation decides their bottom line is more important than the community health. These neighborhoods are struggling," Cole said. "People feel abandoned, right? We need some healthy eating options."

My Block, My Hood, My City said they plan to continue staging food giveaways in the soon-to-be former Walmart Parking lot once a month.

"It's really sad to see them go. They've been here for a long time, getting food, prescriptions, clothing. It's been a pillar in the community," said Dominique Barlow. "We'll just have to find another place to go to, and hopefully, we'll be able to save money and make up for the loss. But, hopefully, they'll come back."

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson said he's committed to finding ways to fill the gaps these closures leave behind.