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CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined Doug McMillon, Chief Executive Officer of Walmart, and local elected officials to announce plans to reopen all of Walmart’s Chicago stores, after multiple locations incurred damage during a period of citywide unrest. The company today committed to reopen the remaining seven of its locations, each in a different neighborhood, in order to continue providing vital goods and services to residents throughout Chicago. The reopening of these facilities, in addition to the already-opened Walmart Supercenter in Pullman, demonstrates a $35–50 million commitment to Chicago, while retaining employment for roughly 1,600 Chicagoans. The commitment to Chicago goes a step further through the creation of two Walmart Health centers at Walmart Supercenters in Austin and Chatham that will provide local community members access to affordable health care, such as dental, counseling, lab services and urgent care.
“We are extremely grateful that Walmart is not only recommitting to our city by reopening all of its Chicago locations, but also expanding its investments even further through innovative programming and services,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “In doing so, they are reaffirming that Chicago’s communities are a great place to invest and grow, and I personally look forward to continuing our partnership and collaboration on these efforts in the months and years ahead.”
While the Pullman store has already reopened, the others must undergo cleanup and construction in advance of reopening. Walmart hopes to reopen its Neighborhood Market locations and the Hermosa Supercenter by the end of July and reopen the Chatham and Austin Supercenters by the end of 2020. The full list of stores reopening includes:
“Mayor Lightfoot has talked about the need for businesses not to disappear. Walmart’s commitment to Chicago remains strong. We are not going anywhere”, said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. “Instead, we are making the investment to repair and reopen all of our stores in the city and help rebuild communities through our racial equity initiative, two new Walmart Health locations in the city, and access to training and education to create a stronger Chicago.”
Walmart’s announcement comes on the heels of Mayor Lightfoot’s demonstrated commitment to inclusive growth and neighborhood investment through the historic $750 million Invest South/West initiative. The program creates a plan for unprecedented community improvement by marshalling the resources of multiple City departments, community organizations and corporate partners toward 10 neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides. Through this groundbreaking collaborative the City seeks to maximize public investments in order to attract private capital, respond to changing commercial trends and enrich local culture.
“We value corporate partners like Walmart who are active across our city, especially in key commercial corridors aligned with Mayor Lightfoot's ambitious INVEST South/West program that has allocated $750M of public funding to 10 neighborhood areas in order to catalyze follow-on private sector investment. By recommitting and expanding investment in neighborhoods like Austin and Bronzeville, today's announcement by Walmart supports INVEST South/West and we hope encourages other corporate partners to follow suit. New resources like the health centers provided by Walmart are vital to our neighborhoods, and they represent massive opportunities for investment that are untapped across the city.”
Walmart’s commitment also includes a new Walmart Academy, used to train company employees, that will also serve as a community center providing access to local community organizations providing education and training.
This announcement comes on the heels of Walmart’s investment of $100 million over five years to create a new center on racial equity with the goal of addressing systemic racism head on an accelerating change to improve racial equity both inside and outside Walmart. Among other commitments the company promised to make recruitment, development and support of racial equity a priority along with investing resources and developing strategies to increase fairness, equity and justice in everyday life. Walmart announced its investment and plan for this center, which will support philanthropic initiatives, earlier this month and envisions a good part of its work and investment to occur in Chicago.
Today’s commitment and reinvestment in Chicago comes after many businesses throughout the city sustained months of revenue losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the State mandated ‘Stay at Home’ order. Many of these pre-existing issues were worsened by damages sustained during a period of nationwide protests and unrest, including multiple Walmart locations. Click here to learn more.