Discount retailer Marshalls will be permanently closing two stores on the South Side within a week.
Marshalls had notified the state weeks before that it will be closing its Back of the Yards store, 1422 W. 47th St., and its Morgan Park location, 11620 S. Marshfield Ave., that is inside Marshfield Plaza.
Layoffs will affect over 100 employees. Marshalls is an off-price clothing chain run by TJX Companies Inc.
Marshfield Plaza isn’t only losing Marshalls at the start of the New Year, but it is also set to lose a Target store in February.
That Target — as well as the one located in Chatham, 8560 S. Cottage Grove Ave. — was seen by community members as a symbol of disinvestment on the South Side that sparked a series of protests and boycotting the store on Black Friday.
“It is just mind-boggling that this happens to be the second store closing in this plaza,” shopper DeKevious Wilson, 31, said Monday. “I am really concerned about this community and hope stores stop leaving.”
Wilson lives in Bronzeville but shops at many stores in Marshfield Plaza because he works as a counselor at a nearby school. He now believes this will affect job opportunities for his teen students.
“I worry a lot about my students too with these closures,” Wilson said. “With Target leaving and now Marshalls, where are these kids supposed to find jobs? These closures always put me on edge, because I know it means less opportunity.”
Erika Tower, a Marshalls spokeswoman, said the store closures are a result of “assessing and reviewing” the retailer’s real estate strategy. Tower said she couldn’t comment on individual store performance.
“We are extremely grateful for our associates in these store locations and have offered all associates working in regular, non-temporary positions employment in our other nearby store locations,” Tower said.
“Chicago remains a very important market for us,” Tower added. “We appreciate the loyalty of our Marshalls customers and believe they will continue to find great values at our other Marshalls Chicago store locations, five of which are located nearby on the South Side.”
A representative for the Marshfield Plaza was not available for comment.
Manny Ramos is a corps member in Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster Sun-Times coverage of issues affecting Chicago’s South and West sides.