It appears that Walmart is now expanding -- or should we say, contracting?
Approximately 350 mini-Walmarts are opening across the US and, if prototype stores go well, Walmart sees the potential to build around 350 per year. Walmart Express is intended for small towns that aren't large enough to support the traditional Walmart, as well as in larger urban centres where building a supercentre is not practical. Larger than a 7-11 but smaller than a typical grocery store, the Express will focus on rural and small town communities. To test out the holiday market, the retailer also opened two temporary 'pop-up' stores in Southern California aimed at steering shoppers to Walmart.com.
Will smaller retailers and traditional 'mom and pop' stores suffer from the move as consumers opt for convenience and lower prices? In the current era of "occupy" and economic hardship, while our instinct is often to base our shopping choices on pure affordability, we may want to consider the other route and support our local small retail stores.