Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Test marketing Wal-Mart Express

A story from my colleague Gloria Lloyd in this weekend's News & Observer goes into some detail about the new Wal-Mart Express stores that are popping up around North Carolina.

Five out of the 11 Wal-Mart Express stores to open so far have been in North Carolina, and several more are planned by the end of the year. The new Express-format stores are only about 15,000 square feet, less than twice the size of a typical Family Dollar and perhaps 1/3 the size of a full-scale grocery store.

Although Wal-Mart has come to dominate much of the grocery market with its massive Supercenters (last year, Wal-Mart overtook Harris Teeter to become the No. 1 grocer in the Charlotte region), the grocery market is always fluid. The latest competitor to nip at Wal-Mart's heels is smaller retailers such as Family Dollar and Dollar General.

Both of those chains, as well as fellow convenience stores such as Walgreens, have greatly increased the amount of food and other consumable items such as cigarettes and cosmetic products, that they stock. Small, easier-to-navigate stores, combined with many more locations, has given the small retailers an edge in capturing the "fill-in trip," many retail analysts say. Basically, a consumer who needs a gallon of milk now has the choice of a small convenience store two blocks away, or a Wal-Mart Supercenter five miles away.

The smaller stores also give Wal-Mart the ability to fill in smaller markets, such as rural areas that couldn't support a Supercenter, and urban areas where there isn't enough space. And if customers want a product that the Express store doesn't carry, such as a television, they can order it online and pick it up at the Express store.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wal Mart has already killed Belks & Penneys, not to mention many, many smaller specialty shops. I giess now they'r going after Dollar General and Family Dollar, both of which have very successful business plans.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate Wal Mart?

Dawn Smith said...

Which cities in NC are slated to receive the stores?

Anonymous said...

Wal-Mart rules the world. Let's hope they don't take down a Charlotte based company (Family Dollar) that is known for being a community store.

Anonymous said...

Brace people....Here they come....We all will work for Walmart one day LOL

WashuOtaku said...

I believe the closest store, from Charlotte, is the Walmart Express in Richfield, NC (near Albermarle). They are also testing this format in Chicago to see if it works in urban centers.

Anonymous said...

Walmart has taken donw Belks and Penny's...Where do you get this infromation from. Wal mart will never be a quality resource for apparel. And wal Mart will not take down Family Dollar as a matter of fact, family Dollar scares the crap out of Wal mart right now.

Anonymous said...

Walmart is fine but the little nerdy looking young punk with the stupid possem grin who writes this blog seems hung up on them.
Whining about Walmart knocking out Belk or Pennys is dumb. Any business makes it based on appeal and price.
Supply and demand never changes.

Ely Portillo said...

Stupid possem grin? There's one I haven't heard before!

Anonymous said...

The only business plan thant matters in todays market is price structure - Harris Teeter and others are free to proceed with an evaluation of their prices if they wish. Otherwise - may the best man win

Anonymous said...

Love Wal-Mart!

How can one not at least admire the pure domination? Oh that's right. Mecklenberg county is a libtard stronghold. Success bad. Welfare good.

Russ Pendersen said...

Ely, don't listen to Anon @ 10:07...I think you're dreamy ;)

Anonymous said...

I live in the middle of Charlotte and haven't been to a Walmart in about 7 or 8 years. I prefer smaller stores - even if they are chain stores - where I can get to know the employees. I do shop at the Target I pass on the way home from work for items that can't wait until shopping on my day off. I prefer to support locally-owned businesses as well as smaller businesses online for clothes and gifts. Although I work in a service job and don't make alot, I can't stand the mega-stores, long lines, no assistance, too much to weed through to find what I need, opened/damages packages on the shelves, dirty restrooms and parkign lots, and the crazy customers I've seen in them.

Anonymous said...

Anon @12:37: Even most right-leaning people have the common sense to know that monopolies are bad. They kill competition and lower the general wages. Usually they tend to raise prices up to higher-than-market value after the competition is toast. Everyone loses in this situation, no matter which party they support.

Anonymous said...

Harris Teeter is worried about Publix, not Walmart.

Anonymous said...

what is really funny about this, or ironic i suppose, is how most of you all complain and cry about walmart, and how "evil empire" they are, but most, if not all, pile in there to shop like the rest of the human race. well, based on their stock price which has been soaring, someone sure is shopping there, although i imagine it's always those other people, right?

Anonymous said...

Ely, you have a beautiful grin!

Anonymous said...

And then after they they destroy F.D. and D.G. they will go after the fast food market. Watch out Taco Bell and McDonalds. Within 20 years everything will have a Wal-Mart sign and sticker