With young and old heading back to cities, urban sprawl appears to be on the decline. With it, many surmise, the mighty big-box store format will fall hard.
It’s certainly too early to sound the death knell of sprawl and mega stores. But one indication that smaller stores are definitely in vogue comes from Walmart.
The discount retailer recently announced plans to have 500 Neighborhood Market stores open within the next 18 months, up from the current 290. That's a 75% jump.
At 38,000 square feet, Neighborhood Markets are designed to compete with grocery stores in urban areas where there’s no space to plop down a giant Walmart Supercentre.
Bill Simon, Walmart’s president and CEO of U.S. operations, noted that Neighborhood Market returns are getting close to that of the Supercentres.
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