North Central College in the News

North Central College associate professor of marketing featured on ABC 7 Chicago

Apr 14, 2023

Donnavieve Smith addressed Walmart’s decision to close its Chicago stores

In mid-April, Walmart announced that the company would close four stores in Chicago. Three of the locations are in Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods, with one of the stores in located on the North Side; all four have long struggled with grocery and retail access.

Walmart’s decision follows years of attempts by the company to move into big US cities. Walmart expanded in rural and suburban areas during the 1980s and 1990s and began to try to enter cities in the early 2000s. But the company was met with stiff resistance in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities from unions and Democratic opponents who worried non-union Walmart would drive down wages and hurt small businesses.

Retail experts addressed why some big box stores can’t turn a profit in urban areas. Lack of profits, theft and security issues are some of the reasons behind the decision.

Donnavieve Smith, associate professor of marketing at North Central College, interviewed with ABC 7 Chicago, where she addressed the big box store’s recent decision to close four of its Chicago locations.

“Instead of looking at the bottom line, I think these retailers need to focus on where did they drop the ball,” said Smith.

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