PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Walmart Debuts Expanded Versions of Neighborhood Market


Walmart has introduced an expanded take on its Neighborhood Market stores.

The retail giant is in the midst of opening or converting more than 150 stores in the next five years, including two new Neighborhood Markets in the Dune Lakes area of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, and Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood, Walmart announced Tuesday (May 21).

“The stores aren’t just new or remodeled. They’re also bigger,” Kyle Kinnard, Walmart’s senior vice president for Neighborhood Markets, wrote on the company blog.

“With 57,000 square feet of sales floor and pickup and delivery space, the Dune Lakes and Vine City stores will have a footprint that’s about 17,000 square feet larger than the average Neighborhood Market. The expanded space will allow us to sharpen our focus on value, speed and convenience,” Kinnard added.

According to the announcement, this larger layout will let Walmart offer a wider assortment of products, particularly in its fresh food offerings.

“We’ve also allotted more space for pickup and delivery orders in these new stores,” Kinnard said. “The larger space includes dedicated room for refrigerated goods, so associates can keep orders moving at an even faster pace.”

That’s in keeping with remarks CEO Doug McMillon made last week when Walmart reported its quarterly earnings. “We are focused on what we’re doing and how we earn business with customers and members,” McMillon said.

“We’ve been known for price forever, but we’re increasingly known for convenience. So whether the environment is inflationary, or deflationary, whether customers have more money or less money, if we’re doing a good job on the items and prices and the service we provide, saving them money with pickup and delivery for example, we can continue to grow share,” McMillon added.

Also on the call, the company discussed how its Click-and-Mortar™ technologies are contributing to growth, with Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey pointing to “digitally enabled solutions such as Scan & Go and curbside pickup” as drivers of improved performance in the quarter.

Meanwhile, former Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon warned last week that the company’s recent embrace by more affluent shoppers might be short-lived.

Speaking on CNBC’s Fast Money, Simon said that when the economic situation improves, consumers will go back to retailers that provide a premium experience.

“As the economic challenges abate … service will become more important than convenience and price. And, we’ll see a shift back of some of the consumers,” Simon said.

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