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Chicago is facing the closure of stores. What to do?

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Several major chain supermarkets have recently closed in Chicago. Large retailers are leaving areas affected by crime. Now the city is exploring the possibility of creating a "municipal grocery store."

Last week, Mayor Brandon Johnson's office issued a press release stating that "existing inequality has worsened" due to the closure of six grocery stores in the past two years.

The press release explains that this has left some areas of the city too far from convenient grocery stores.

"All Chicago residents deserve to live near convenient, accessible, and healthy grocery stores. We know that access to grocery stores is already a challenge for many residents, especially in the south and west sides of the city," said Johnson. "A better, stronger, and safer future is one where our youth and communities have access to the tools and resources needed to thrive."

Ameya Pawar, Senior Advisor for the Economic Security Project, claims that a city-owned store is no different from a private one, except that it may be more resilient to market changes.

In 2022, a Whole Foods store closed in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. This year, four Walmart stores closed in the city.

The rise in crime continues to push major retailers to take radical measures to protect their stores. In Washington, D.C., one of the Giant Foods stores replaced its signature products, citing their high resale value as an easy target for thieves.

In San Francisco, stores such as Whole Foods, Nordstrom, and Old Navy recently closed their doors due to widespread and virtually unchecked theft. Similar problems were faced by Walgreens stores in San Francisco, leading the major pharmacy chain to decide to close several stores at the end of 2021.

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