Customers shop at a Walmart store on May 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Walmart announced Tuesday it will abruptly close four underperforming Chicago stores, citing millions in annual losses.

The company said its eight Chicago stores collectively have not been profitable since the first opened 17 years ago. This has amounted to a loss of “tens of millions of dollars a year,” according to a press release, losses that have nearly doubled over the last five years.

The four stores will close on April 16, though their pharmacies will remain open for up to 30 days. The locations are in the Kenwood, Lakeview, Little Village and Chatham neighborhoods of Chicago.

“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,” the company said in a release. “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.”

Walmart said all employees at these four stores are eligible to transfer to other Walmart locations and will be paid through August 11. The company will keep its other four Chicago stores open to give them the best chance at operating in the future.

The store closures come after Walmart announced a dozen or so closures last month, according to media reports. In March, Walmart also announced it would lay off hundreds of employees at e-commerce fulfillment centers across the country.

As of Jan. 31, the company operated more than 5,300 retail locations including Supercenters, discount stores, Sam’s Clubs and small format stores.


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