Customers shop at a Walmart store on May 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.
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Walmart announced on Tuesday that it will abruptly close four underperforming Chicago stores, citing millions in annual losses.
The company said its eight Chicago stores have not been profitable since they opened 17 years ago. According to a press release, that translates into “tens of millions of dollars a year” in losses, losses that have nearly doubled over the past five years.
The four stores will close on April 16, but 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 range and offering services beyond traditional retail,” the company said in a press release . “As we looked for solutions, it became even more apparent that there was nothing the executives could do for these businesses to get us to the point where they would be profitable.”
Walmart said all employees at those four stores are eligible to move to other Walmart locations and will be paid through Aug. 11. The company will keep its other four Chicago stores open to give them the best chance of working in the future.
The store closures come after Walmart announced about a dozen 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 January 31, the Company operated more than 5,300 retail locations, including supercenters, discount stores, Sam’s Clubs and convenience stores.