Lightfoot, city leaders blast Walmart for closing South Side stores

Walmart is moving out, closing half of its stores in Chicago saying they haven't been profitable in 17 years and lose millions of dollars annually.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls the decision disappointing.

In a statement released on Wednesday, she wrote in part:

"Unceremoniously abandoning these neighborhoods will create barriers to basic needs for thousands of residents. While near-term arrangements will be made for workers, I fear that many will find that their long-term opportunities have been significantly diminished."


Meanwhile, South Side elected officials are also responding, issuing a joint statement, reading in part:

"Closing four stores in five days is unethical, especially since Walmart claims these stores have not been profitable since 2006. If Walmart cared about the community they belonged to for nearly two decades, they would have implemented strategies to combat their rising prices, the likely root cause of their decline in earnings."

The four stores being closed are the Chatham supercenter Walmart, and the neighborhood markets in Kenwood, Lake View, and Little Village.

Each store is slated to be closed by this Sunday.

Pharmacies at the closing Walmart locations will remain open for at least 30 days to serve customers.

Walmart said they tried several different strategies to remain profitable at the failing stores, but none of their changes reflected improvement.

"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’s announcement said.