February 21, 2014 – Walmart faces sluggish sales and will seek to double the number of smaller new stores planned in the coming year. The retailer has seen sales increase by 5% last quarter at their smaller format stores, called “Neighborhood Markets”, compared to falling sales (.4% drop) at their traditional stores. In an announcement, they called this the “next generation of retail”. Analysts suggest they are feeling pressure from the success of Family Dollar, which has expanded rapidly in many under served urban markets the past few years. Walmart announced plans to add approximately
270 to 300 small stores this year, double its initial forecast of 120 – 150 stores. They currently operate 346 Neighborhood Markets and 20 Walmart Express stores. The Neighborhood Markets are approximately 38,000 sf (compared to 106,000 sf for traditional Walmart stores). The company is also testing 2,500 sf, college-based convenience retail called “Walmart on Campus”.
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- “Wal-Mart places big bet on going small, but is it enough?”, CNBC
- “Wal-Mart forecast disappoints as grocery business struggles”, Reuters