Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Wednesday opened its second supercenter and fifth location overall in Chicago.
The opening of the 157,000-sq.-ft. store, located on the city’s South Side, followed the resolution of a seven-year battle between the retailer and the city’s labor unions and community activists. But sentiment changed as the recession-weakened economy and high unemployment supported Wal-Mart’s case for opening stores in Chicago that would create jobs and bring in sales tax revenue. The chain also agreed to pay Chicago employees at least $8.75 an hour, which is 50 cents above Illinois’ minimum wage.
Wal-Mart slated to open a third supercenter in Chicago next year, on the city’s Far South Side.