The Crusader Newspaper Group

Alderman Brookins says Walmart closing 4 stores is “blow” to community

Walmart’s announcement that it will close four of its Chicago stores effective Sunday, April 16, because they are “underperforming” will be an economic “blow” to the community Alderman Howard Brookins (21st) said Tuesday, April 11. Three of the stores closing will be in Black and brown communities.

In a statement, Walmart said it is closing four of its Chicago stores because they are part of a group of locations that “lose tens of millions of dollars a year.”

Referring to the Walmart located in his ward, 8431 S. Stewart Ave., Brookins said, “I worked hard to get that Walmart in our ward. After 15 years, closing it is a blow to our community. In the Chatham store alone, there will be 400 workers who may lose their jobs.

“They claim that they’re offering jobs to all of them, but even their own statistics say only about 50 percent of them will move on to other stores,” Brookins said. “It is a real disappointment and a blow to the community for the loss of jobs and retail shopping conveniences.”

According to Brookins, Walmart always wanted to build a store in his ward. At the time he was negotiating to get the store he said, “Activists and the unions were against Walmart, based on their paying low wages and based on their perceived union-busting tactics.”

Asked what he will do with that soon-to-be vacant space, Brookins said, “We are looking for the opportunities to come there, but it is going to be the alderman-elect’s decision,” referring to Alderman-elect Ronnie Mosley who won the April 4 runoff. Efforts to reach Mosley for comments on the closure failed.

Brookins’ Chatham Supercenter, consisting of the Walmart Health Center and the Walmart Academy, is just one of four Walmart’s on the chopping block.

Also closing effective Sunday, April 16, is Walmart’s Kenwood Neighborhood Market, 4720 S. Cottage Grove Ave., located in Alderman Sophia King’s 4th Ward. When contacted, she said, “With little to no warning, the Walmart on 47th and Cottage will close its doors this Sunday. The pharmacy will remain open for up to 30 days to continue serving customers.

“This is truly a disappointing decision especially given the short notice,” And, King said, “Certainly Walmart has the resources and respect to give more notice. The city must fight to provide access to healthy and nutritious food.”

Also on Walmart’s hit list is the Lakeview Neighborhood Market at 2844 N. Broadway St., in the 44th Ward headed by Alderman Thomas Tunney, who is retiring in May and will be replaced by Bennett Lawson, his chief of staff who won the February 28 general election.

The fourth Chicago Walmart closing this Sunday is located at 2551 W. Cermak Road, located in Alderman Jason Ervin’s ward.

Walmart is also closing its Homewood store, 17550 S. Halsted; its Plainfield store at 12690 S. Route 59; and the Lincolnwood (Pick-up only concept) store located at 840 N. McCormick Blvd.

Nationally, the big box giant has confirmed it will lay off hundreds of workers at five e-commerce fulfillment centers across the U.S.

Walmart is closing 19 stores in 11 states and Washington, D.C., with Chicago’s four being the latest, according to Business Insider.

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