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South Side Wal-Mart Store To Sell "Convenience" Foods

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 9, 2011 7:22PM

A grocery cooler in Wal-Mart, by ratterrell.
The battle for a Wal-Mart seems to be reaching its endgame with the news that the world's largest retailer will open a "Wal-Mart Express" store in the Chatham Market at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue. The planned 10,000 square-foot store will focus on selling "convenience-minded" foodstuffs.

We were discussing why Wal-Mart would want to go this route in Chatham, the other planned Wal-Mart in the West Loop, and the oft-rumored and feared Lakeview Wal-Mart. Bloomberg kindly points out that this is the retailer's new front in the battle for your consumer dollar. To wit:

“Wal-Mart’s U.S. store fleet is designed for yesterday’s retail wars,” Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners in New Canaan, Connecticut, said in an interview. “If they want to capture their rightful share of today’s shopping trips they have to have a smaller format. God bless supercenters, but they are not designed to get in and out of within five minutes.”

Another reason for the seeming outside-the-box thinking: Wal-Mart's comparable-store sales have fallen for seven straight quarters. If Wal-Mart is determined to dot the city with up to two dozen stores, this is likely the route they're going to take.