Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has taken another step toward expanding in Chicago with the opening of its first urban Walmart Express store.
It's a much smaller version than the typical big-box stores. The 10,000-square-foot facility has fresh produce and pharmacy goods, among other things. The Chicago store opened Wednesday on the city's South Side.
The retail giant has already announced plans to open several dozen stores in Chicago by 2015 in its attempt to penetrate urban markets. The stores are expected to create nearly 10,000 permanent jobs and 2,000 construction jobs in the city.
The first Walmart that opened in Chicago in 2006 was fought by labor who claimed unfair wages. Labor leaders dropped their opposition last year when Wal-Mart agreed to pay starting wages above the state's minimum wage.