The world's biggest retailer has been noticeably absent from one of the world's biggest cities, Chicago, but a new initiative could let it open dozens of stores in the city in the coming years.
Except for one store opened in 2006, Chicago community opposition has kept Walmart out of the third-largest city in the U.S. Concerns have mostly focused on Walmart's low wages, which opponents often called too low to qualify as a living wage.
Walmart now plans to build several dozen Chicago stores in the next 5 years and create about 12,000 jobs as part of an initiative called the “Chicago Community Investment Partnership.” The plan is also intended to help eradicate food deserts and stimulate local economic development.
Walmart said it will "pay competitive wages at all levels." Walmart said recent market wage assessments in Chicago indicate Walmart's starting wage is fully competitive with most union and non-union retailers in key categories.
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