Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wal-Mart's Going for Smaller Urban Stores? Say What!

My dad told me yesterday that he heard Wal-Mart was going to stop building mega stores, to get away from big box monstrosities and try to look more like the "little guy." I thought that maybe he had confused the news, but he was fairly accurate in his report.

Wal-mart will purue urban areas with smaller stores. That will be good for some communities that grocery stores have abandoned.

And its bigger picture in context of going with smaller stores also seems to include aims to overhaul the global food supply chain, meaning they will go local, use local farmers. How kind of Wal-Mart to recognize its own footprint on the world and system. Have they been listening to Bill Gates's speeches on calls for a kinder capitalism?

See these articles:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, expects to open 30 to 40 smaller-format stores in fiscal 2012 as it seeks to enter urban markets to jump-start growth in the U.S. ... The company sees a true need for stores smaller than its supercenters, which average about 185,000 square feet, Bill Simon, U.S. stores' chief, told investors today at a conference in Rogers, Ark.

All I can say to this news is this:
  1. I hope they are sincerely concerned now about people as much as money.
  2. Remember the Gulf Oil Spill and BP, a company that presented an image of being green in order to capitalize on changing attitudes about energy and the environment.
I'm in New Orleans, and we could use more stores that sell groceries and fresh produce at a reasonable price in some areas of the city. Consequently, I'll give Wal-Mart a thumbs up on its goals as it currently states them. Nevertheless, let's not be naive here. Wal-Mart may be only concerned about its shrinking bank account and its image as nemesis to the American worker and mom and pop store. So, let's keep our eyes on Wallyworld and not assume its quest to grow its bottom line has been exchanged for a halo. Let's hold it to living up to the greener, more urban-friendly image it wants to craft by continuing to look periodically behind the mask. I'm just saying.


msladydeborah said...

The smaller version of Wally World would be interesting to see.

Reggie said...

Wow Walmarts going small huh?!?

Who would have thought?!?

Back when I used to live in Metairie 1989-1998 there were plenty of grocery stores around. Oh there were plenty out there, not so many in the city though.