The Walmart 1 Percent in Illinois


  • Walmart Board of Directors member Linda Wolflives in Chicago. Contact Linda Wolf:
  • Julie Murphy, Walmart Senior Vice President of Operations, Midwest Division: 8430 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 560, Chicago, IL 60631


  • Former Walmart CEO and current Walmart Board of Directors member Lee Scott is Chairman, Business Advisory Board of BDT Capital: 401 North Michigan Ave., Suite 3100, Chicago, IL 60611; (312) 660-7311
  • Walmart Board of Directors and Walton family member Greg Penner is on the Board of Directors of the Hyatt Hotel Corporation.  71 South Wacker Dr., 12th Fl., Chicago, IL 60606;
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Linda Wolf is on the Board of Directors of InnerWorkings, Inc.: 600 W. Chicago Ave., Suite 850, Chicago, IL 60654; (312) 642-3700 (phone), (312) 642-3704 (fax),
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Linda Wolf is Trustee of the Field Museum: 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605; (312) 922-9410
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Linda Wolf is on the Advisory Committee of Partnership for New Communities in Chicago:  111 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1400, Chicago, IL 60601; (312) 616-6680 (phone), (312) 616-6685 (fax)
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Linda Wolf is on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau: 301 East Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL 60616; (312) 567-8500
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Linda Wolf is a Director of the Economic Club of Chicago: 177 North State Street, Suite 404, Chicago, IL 60601; (312) 726-1628 (phone), (312) 726-5376 (fax),
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Linda Wolf is on the Board of Directors of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs: 332 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1100; Chicago, IL 60604; (312) 726-3860 (phone), (312) 821-7555 (fax). The council holds regular events.
  • Walmart Board of Directors member Linda Wolf is a member of The Chicago Network: 211 East Ontario, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL  60611; (312) 787-1990



The Walmart 1 Percent’s Influence in Illinois Politics

The Walton family in politics

The Waltons gave $14,850 to candidate for Congress from Illinois between the 1990 cycle and 2010. Exactly $250 of that went to Democrats.[1]

Walmart in politics

The Walmart PAC managed to fund Republicans at a similar rate over that time period. Of the $190,000 it spent on Congressional election in Illinois, $181,000 went to Republican candidates. As the company looks to open more stores in Illinois, it has spent heavily on state-level races as well. Between 2003 and 2010, the company gave $265,109 to Republican candidates and committees in Illinois and $45,000 to Democrats.[2]



Walmart’s Impact on Illinois’s Employment Picture

Impact of Walmart stores on retail and other jobs

Based on data available through Walmart’s website, there were 50,104 Walmart associates in Illinois as of January 31, 2012.

According to a 2006 study, for every retail job created at Walmart, communities lose 1.4 retail jobs.[3] Based on the findings of this study, we estimate that, if Walmart had no stores in Illinois, there would be an additional 20,042 retail jobs in the state.

Impact of Walmart’s China sourcing on jobs

Based on an estimate of Walmart’s share of the U.S.-China trade deficit, we can estimate that Illinois lost an estimated 9,812 jobs as a result of Walmart’s practice of sourcing heavily from China.[4]



Walmart’s Cost to Illinois Taxpayers

Taxpayer subsidies for Walmart

Walmart is the world’s biggest company.[5] But despite its colossal financial resources—the company brought in $444 billion in revenue last year[6]—it’s habitually dipped into public coffers to finance its expansion into almost every corner of the United States.[7] In the absence of centralized information or databases on economic subsidies, Good Jobs First, an economic policy and research non-profit, has done extensive research to document the subsidies Walmart has received, and has published the data on Walmart Subsidy Watch. Here’s what GJF uncovered in Illinois.

Taxpayer healthcare costs

Tens of thousands of Walmart associates and their families qualify for Medicaid and other publicly subsidized care. Indeed, according to data compiled by Good Jobs First, in 22 of 24 states which have disclosed information, Walmart has the largest number of employees or dependents on the public rolls of any employer.[8] Illinois has not disclosed data.



More Walmart stores coming to Illinois

Here’s a list of Walmart stores planned or rumored to be opening in Illinois:[9]

  • Chicago: Supercenter, 111th St. and South Doty
  • Chicago: Walmart Express, 71st St. and Western Ave.
  • Chicago: Neighborhood Market, 76th St. and South Ashland
  • Chicago: Neighborhood Market, 2840 N. Broadway
  • Chicago: Supercenter, Grand and Oak Park Aves.
  • Cicero: Supercenter, 3400 South Cicero Ave.
  • Skokie: Supercenter, Touhy and St. Louis Aves.


[3] The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets. December, 2006. David Neumark, Junfu Zhang, Stephen Ciccarella.

[4] These numbers are estimates. To arrive at these estimates, we used the report by the Economic Policy Institute that estimated U.S. jobs lost to China by state from 2001-2008.  We then multiplied that number by 9.3%, which is the proportion of the overall U.S.-China trade deficit that EPI estimated to be tied to Walmart.  We arrived at that number from this study.

[5] As measured by revenue; “Fortune Global 500 2011: The World’s Biggest Companies – Wal-Mart Stores,”

[6] “Walmart reports Q4 EPS from continuing operations of $1.51; Walmart U.S. delivers positive traffic and positive comp sales in Q4,” press release dated February 21, 2012,

[7] “Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth,” by Philip Mattera and Anna Purinton, Good Jobs First, May 2004.

[8] “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First report, version dated January 18, 2012.

[9] Information on planned or rumored stores collected by Making Change at Walmart.