CHICAGO (WLS) -- Walmart announced Tuesday it will close four stores in Chicago on Sunday.
The four stores closing are:
-#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 said all associates at the store are eligible to be transferred to another Walmart location.
The pharmacies at the closing locations will remain open to serve patients for up to 30 days.
In a news release, the company said in part, "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."
"I think it's terrible," said Chatham customer Norma Gregory. "Target left, now Walmart is gone, we don't have anything in our community anymore."
Alderman Howard Brookins fought to get Walmart in the Chatham area and for it to reopen after the civil unrest in 2020.
"To hear today, a couple of hours ago, that they are going to close, a profound disappointment and sadness overcame me," he said.
The company said it has tried different strategies, including building smaller stores and offering services beyond retail, but says they have not improved stores' performance.
"They made all these improvements, they put the Walmart Academy here, and it's just so hard to believe they are just going to close it all down it's just going to be a huge vacant space," said Chatham customer Sharon Woods.
Walmart Academy offers classes and workshops to the Chatham community. All those programs have been canceled, although a Walmart spokesperson said the company plans to donate the academy for community uses.
Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson released a statement on the closings, saying, "Walmart's decision to close four locations in Chicago will leave a void in the communities they serve, particularly stores located in communities that have historically lacked options for grocery stores and pharmacies. These stores served as a crucial lifeline for communities to obtain fresh, affordable produce. We are committed to identifying ways to fill the gaps these closures will leave in neighborhoods and find creative solutions to repurpose these facilities to the community's benefit."