Wal-Mart Announces Plans For More Chicago Stores

UPDATED 03/16/11 3:30 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — When a deal with organized labor last year gave Wal-Mart the green light to expand within the Chicago city limits, the retail giant said to expect “several dozen stores across the city over the next five years.”

Wal-Mart officials announced Wednesday that they are making good on that plan.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore

Mayor Richard M. Daley and the retailer officially unveiled plans to build six new stores in Englewood, Chatham, Pullman, Auburn Gresham and the West Loop.

“People want jobs in the neighborhood, all over this city,” Daley said, following the six year battle with unions to bring Wal-Mart, which has had stories in nearby suburbs for years, to the city. “It was OK for Evergreen Park, but not the 17th Ward [on the South Side.]?”

Wal-Mart officials said they would target the city’s so-called “food deserts” when planning new stores. Food deserts are areas of the city where residents do not have easy access to stores that carry fresh produce.

“Mayor Daley has been a champion of economic development in the city and his support of Walmart through the years has allowed us the opportunity to do what we do best: open stores that create jobs and offer a broad assortment of products at everyday low prices,” Wal-Mart Senior Vice President Julie Murphy said Wednesday. “Moving forward, we will continue to identify sites in Chicago’s food deserts, while also looking for opportunities to help even more Chicagoans save money and live better.”

The six planned Wal-Mart locations are:

• Wal-mart Supercenter in Pullman at 111th and Doty Avenue, opening in Spring 2013;
• Wal-mart Supercenter in Chatham at 83rd and Stewart Avenue, opening in Spring 2012;
• Wal-mart Market in the West Loop at Monroe and Jefferson Streets, opening in Fall 2011;
• Wal-mart Market in Auburn Gresham at 76th and Ashland Avenue, opening in Spring 2012;
• Wal-mart EXPRESS in Englewood at 71st and Western Avenue, opening in Winter 2012;
• Wal-mart EXPRESS in Chatham at 83rd and Stewart Avenue, opening in Summer 2011.

Neighborhood Market is a mid-sized format for city neighborhoods, a condensed version of the big-box Wal-Marts. The markets typically sell meat, fresh produce and other groceries, and include a pharmacy, deli and bakery.

The smallest format, called Wal-Mart Express, is similar to a 7-Eleven convenience store.

Wal-Mart officials estimated the six new locations would create about 1,000 new retail jobs and 200 new construction jobs for Chicago. The new stores are part of Wal-Mart’s five-year plan to open several dozen new stores in Chicago by 2015, creating 10,000 retail jobs and 2,000 construction jobs.

Analysts say building stores in African-American communities also could help Wal-Mart gain political support. It is challenging other retailers, especially grocers that have bypassed minority areas.

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has said he will ask Wal-Mart and other stores to give him a four-year plan for building in Chicago’s “food deserts,” which lack grocery stores.

Emanuel has championed efforts to eliminate food deserts in Chicago and has pledged to work with grocery store chains to build more stores in underserved areas of Chicago.

For example, the St. Louis-based Save-A-Lot grocery chain is building five new stores by the end of the year and Emanuel said the company has committed to build 30 more stores throughout Chicago over the next four years.

Wal-Mart’s announcement on Wednesday comes as another possible plan for a Wal-Mart in the city is meeting with stiff resistance from neighbors.

At a meeting of the South East Lake View Neighbors Association Monday night, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and officials from Mid-America Real Estate Group said they had spoken with Wal-Mart officials about a possible store in the East Lakeview neighborhood.

This was the first update on the possible Wal-Mart plan since December, when Wal-Mart dismissed as false rumors that it had filed a letter of intent or signed a lease in the Broadway at Surf retail complex in the 2800 block of North Broadway.

Meanwhile, Tunney has proposed a zoning change in the area that would limit new stores in the Broadway at Surf and several other buildings to 25,000 square feet. The owners and managers of the building have objected to the planned zoning change, saying it would devalue property and subject the owners to too many restrictions in attracting prospective tenants.

Currently, there is only one Wal-Mart store operating in the city, at North and Kilpatrick avenues on the West Side.

After the West Side store opened in 2006, expansion plans were put on hold when the City Council passed an ordinance that required big-box retailers to pay a minimum of $10 per hour and $3 hourly in benefits. Mayor Daley vetoed the ordinance not long after it was passed.

Wal-Mart finally got the green light for expansion when it reached a deal with labor unions to set starting wages at $8.75 per hour, which is 50 cents less than unions had wanted.

The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

  • Cyn

    It’s about time someone build something in the black community. Maybe some gas can be saved many blacks, Hispanics won’t have to travel far to shop. Our money is just as good as the next mans.

  • Darren

    Walmart is a lowend bigbox store .What is so great about there stores?I can get a good deal at jewel,dominicks,and others.Most of the goods sold there are made from other countries.Question:How does Walmart help the community?Giving out below pay standard jobs Where is walmart saying we need to support goods that are made here?Like Menards,they made a good move in starting to sell American made goods.Imagine buying from a place that sells alot of stuff that you or your neighbor work at to strengthen the community.

    • The Truth

      Darren, shut up. No one wants to read your verbal vomit. Go back to your union leaders and cry like the baby you are.

  • http://chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2011/03/wal-mart-set-to-announce-2-more-s-side-stores.html Wal-Mart set to announce 2 more S. Side stores | Chicago Breaking Business

    […] is a site for a smaller Wal-Mart branded convenience store in the same West Englewood area..Get the full story>> Read more about the topics in this post: Grocery stores RelatedWalmart market coming to […]

  • Will

    Thank you Alderman Thomas for bringing jobs, development and shopping options to our commnity.

    Thank God we have an alderman with experience. We would be foolish to throw it away by voting for her domestic abuser challenger .

  • http://breakingnews.usa.dorissays.com/?p=5541 Wal-Mart set to announce 2 more S. Side stores - This is a website devoted to Breaking News - dorissays.com

    […] From the Chicago Sun-Times | Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executives are expected to announce today two new locations on the South Side. Sources said Wal-Mart plans to build a Neighborhood Market at 76th and Ashland. Also expected to be revealed is a site for a smaller Wal-Mart branded convenience store in the same West Englewood area..Get the full story>> […]

  • Sam

    That Walmart on North Avenue and Kilpatrick is not enough for city residents. Plus its too small.

    The south and west sides have more empty lots, stores, and buildings than the norht side. Just drive through the area find out for yourself.

  • http://www.walmartchicago.com/2011/03/16/wal-mart-announces-plans-for-more-chicago-stores/ Wal-Mart Announces Plans For More Chicago Stores « Walmart Chicago

    […] more at Cbs2chicago.com. Action CenterJoin Chicago […]

  • http://real-estateguru.info/chicago/prei%c2%ae-expands-account-team/ PREI® expands account team | Real Estate

    […] Wal-Mart Announces Plans For More Chicago Stores When a deal with organized labor last year gave Wal-Mart the green light to expand within the Chicago city limits, the retail giant said to expect “several dozen stores across the city over the next five years.” Read more on CBS Chicago […]

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/17/daley-still-upset-about-wal-mart-resistance/ Daley Still Upset About Wal-Mart Resistance « CBS Chicago

    […] Six Wal-Mart stores are now planned: […]

  • franklin808

    Since Walmart does not hire union employees, the city should put Target stores in those locations instead of Walmart.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/23/lakeview-east-chamber-awaits-plans-from-wal-mart/ Lakeview East Chamber Awaits Plans From Wal-Mart « CBS Chicago

    […] He pointed out that plans six stores of various sizes have been announced in the city – Supercenters at 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway and at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue; mid-size Neighborhood Market stores at 76th Street and Ashland Avenue and in the Presidential Towers, 555 W. Madison St.; and convenience store-style Wal-Mart Express stores at 71st Street and Western Avenue, and in the same shopping center as one of the Supercenters at 83rd Street and Holland Road. […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live