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Walmart: Your Friendly Neighborhood Grocer (by 2013)

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 22, 2011 10:01 AM

When you think Walmart, you generally think big and you don’t generally think groceries, but its Neighborhood Market stores may change that.

Chicago opened its third Walmart this week, but this is a Neighborhood Market store, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. At about 27,000 square feet, the downtown store is a fraction of a regular-sized Walmart, which can be as large as 150,000 square feet.

And while groceries are typically 1/3 of the product sold at a Walmart, it takes up ¾ of the Market, the paper reports. Walmart has been opening Neighborhood Markets since 1998 and now has 155 nationwide, but they are about to go into a boom time, with the company planning to have 300 of them by 2013, the Sun-Times reports.

The Windy City launched the first Walmart Express in July. “Our approach to the city of Chicago is to be flexible,” Walmart spokesman Steve Restivo told the paper. “We want the store size and the merchandise mix to be a reflection of the community it’s in.”

Walmart also runs the even smaller Walmart Express stores nationwide, which are usually about 10,000 square feet, the Sun-Times notes. In the Chicago area, it is planning “to open seven more stores by spring 2013 — two Supercenters, two Neighborhood Markets and three Express stores.”

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