Citing losses of “tens of millions of dollars a year,” Walmart announced they will be closing four stores in Chicago. Four other Walmart stores will remain open in the city.
The company issued a statement on Tuesday which said:
The simplest explanation is that collectively our Chicago stores have not been profitable since we opened the first one nearly 17 years ago – these stores lose tens of millions of dollars a year, and their annual losses nearly doubled in just the last five years. The remaining four Chicago stores continue to face the same business difficulties, but we think this decision gives us the best chance to help keep them open and serving the community.
… We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the city, including $70 million in the last couple years to upgrade our stores and build two new Walmart Health facilities and a Walmart Academy training center.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a company spokesman said “there was no single cause for the increase in losses and that theft wasn’t a driving factor,” a claim that defies belief.
Outgoing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot weighed in on the decision saying, “I’m incredibly disappointed that Walmart, a strong partner in the past, has announced the closing of several locations. Unceremoniously abandoning these neighborhoods will create barriers to basic needs for thousands of residents.”
Perhaps Lightfoot should have thought about the “basic needs” of her constituents before implementing her “soft-on-crime” policies which have made Chicago one of the most crime-ridden cities in America.
Additionally, Chicago voters should have thought about their own basic needs before electing an ever more progressive mayor to replace her.
In December, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC that the “lax approach from prosecutors” to retail theft would lead to price increases and store closures.
Nevertheless, community leaders are incensed – and indignant – over the closures.
In a Twitter account that has since been deleted (but can be viewed here), one woman wrote: “The people who own Walmart are some of the richest in the world and they didn’t get there by “working harder”. Work with the community instead of complaining about a few stolen TVs.” (Emphasis added.)
Responses to the tweet pointed out the obvious. “Corporations are not there to provide material to be stolen.”
Corporations are not there to provide material to be stolen. Work with the community to do what? Nonsensical euphuism.
— Robert Kocanda (@KocandaRobert) April 14, 2023
Walmart’s situation is hardly unique among retailers. Their announcement came one day after Whole Foods reported it would be temporarily closing one of its flagship stores in San Francisco due to safety concerns.
After Target announced a 50% decline in third quarter earnings last November, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Michael Fiddelke told reporters that shoplifting had jumped by 50% year over year. CNBC reported that over the first three quarters of the fiscal year, “those losses have had a more than $400 million impact on Target’s margins.”
How can a retailer repeatedly sustain losses of this magnitude and be expected to remain in business?
Earlier this week, I posted about an irate customer at an Ohio Target store who demanded that her $1,000 bill be paid by reparations.
She told the police:
I was asking the cashier to reach out to her manager so we could have a larger conversation about how money works, and how provision works, and how it’s been working in our community in a very wrong way.
This is my Rosa Parks moment.
None of this should surprise us. It is the natural result of the Democrats’ preposterous campaign to “defund the police.” Predictably, nearly three years later, America is finding out the hard way that law and order matters. A society simply cannot function if members continuously refuse to obey the laws.