In January of this year Walmart opened a supercenter in the West Chatham community at 8331 S Stewart. The store opened after several years of intense negotiations with the city of chicago, Labor unions and Walmart. My counterparts at the 6th Ward blog covered the opening. Subsequently, Walmart opened a market store in the West Loop, many have made praised this store and used it as the example of why Chicago needs Walmart. The only problem with the story is that no one mentions that the success of this store came at the expense of another independent market store that was previously located in the same building. Also, Walmart closed their Express store in West Chatham stating consumers preferred the larger store.
Recently, Walmart has been running TV commercial aimed at convincing consumers that they have cheaper prices than market leader Jewel Foods. But a customer questioned Walmart’s pricing policy recently. The customer posted a review on Yelp and I read it by way of Everyblock. The customer stated that he was going to have to pay $1.50 more for a product at the West Chatham store versus the Evergreen Park store. The customer questioned whether the racial make up of the communities made a difference in the pricing.
So after nine months and many clergy and residents in the 21st ward proclaiming that Walmart would transform that ward, has it lived up to expectations? What’s your thoughts?