When Did Walmart Open in Chicago?

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Walmart, a multinational retail corporation, opened its first store in the city of Chicago on September 27, 2006. Located in the Austin neighborhood at 4650 W. North Ave, this marked a significant milestone in the company’s expansion into urban markets. But the journey of Walmart in Chicago hasn’t been without its fair share of controversies and challenges.


Walmart, the multinational retail corporation, opened its first store in the city of Chicago on September 27, 2006. The store is located in the Austin neighborhood at 4650 W. North Ave.

Initial Public Reaction to Walmart in Chicago

The opening of the first Walmart store in Chicago was met with mixed reactions. Labor unions and some community groups opposed the move due to concerns over non-union jobs, low wages, and inadequate health insurance for the workers. Despite these oppositions, there were also supporters who saw Walmart as a potential solution to high unemployment rates and a means to combat the problem of “food deserts” in certain neighborhoods.

Walmart’s Economic Impact on Chicago

According to a study conducted in 2009, the opening of the Walmart store on the West Side led to the displacement of a range of businesses and did not spark any significant net growth in economic activity or employment in the area. The study also found that Walmart’s sales were replacing, but not enhancing, the retail activity and employment opportunities in the community.

However, it’s crucial to mention that Walmart did provide jobs and affordable goods to communities that may have lacked access to such resources.

Walmart’s Growth in Chicago

As of now, there are four Walmart stores operating in Chicago. This is following the closure of four other stores in the city in April 2023 due to poor performance and profitability issues.

Challenges Faced by Walmart in Chicago

Walmart faced several unique challenges in establishing its presence in Chicago. From profitability issues to community opposition and labor issues, heightened competition, and the urban market challenges, Walmart faced it all. Despite these challenges, Walmart still has stores in Chicago and continues to work towards reducing these losses without raising prices or impacting associate wages and hours.

Walmart’s Adaptations for the Chicago Market

To cater to the urban environment of Chicago, Walmart tried opening smaller stores, known as neighborhood markets, that serve mostly groceries. However, these stores had lower profit margins than other merchandise like electronics or clothing. The company also localized product assortment and offered services beyond traditional retail to improve results.

Controversies Surrounding Walmart in Chicago

Walmart’s operations in Chicago have been marked by significant events and controversies, particularly related to the company’s decision to close four of its eight stores in the city in 2023. This decision was met with shock and protest from the community, as three of the stores were located in predominantly Black and low-income neighborhoods, leaving residents with fewer options for groceries and medications.

Future Expansion Plans of Walmart in Chicago

Even though Walmart is closing some of its stores in Chicago, it is also making significant investments in the area, particularly in the form of new fulfillment and distribution centers. These investments are expected to create a significant number of jobs and provide new services to the local community.


The journey of Walmart in Chicago is a tale of ambitious expansion, significant challenges, and complex impacts. Despite the controversies and closures, the company continues to play a role in the city’s retail landscape. Its future in Chicago will likely continue to be watched closely, not just by residents and local officials, but also by other retailers and urban planners across the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Walmart’s hours of operation in Chicago?

Walmart’s hours of operation in Chicago can vary by location. However, most Walmart stores are open from 6 AM to 11 PM daily. It is best to check the specific store’s hours on the Walmart website or by calling the store directly.

How many employees does Walmart have in Chicago?

The exact number of Walmart employees in Chicago is not publicly disclosed. However, as of 2020, Walmart was reported to employ over 1.5 million people in the United States. Given that there are four stores in Chicago, it can be estimated that each store employs several hundred people.

Does Walmart in Chicago offer online shopping and delivery services?

Yes, Walmart in Chicago does offer online shopping and delivery services. Customers can shop from Walmart’s website or mobile app and choose home delivery or in-store pickup.

The blog post mentions several controversies and challenges faced by Walmart in Chicago, but it does not detail any specific legal issues. For the most accurate and current information, it’s best to refer to local news sources or legal databases.

Are there any Walmart Supercenters in Chicago?

As of now, there are no Walmart Supercenters in Chicago. The stores in the city are regular Walmart stores or smaller neighborhood markets.

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