Wal-Mart downsizes its stores
The retail giant turns to small and midsized buildings in an effort to draw more US shoppers.
The company still runs the giant, sprawling supercenters that we're familiar with. But now it's opening more midsized stores under the Walmart Market name. They're about the size of an average supermarket.
Wal-Mart already has 185 such markets and wants to open 90 to 100 more by January. That total will ramp up to 300 by fiscal 2013, the company said.
And Wal-Mart is getting even smaller with Wal-Mart Express, its answer to the dollar stores that have been stealing its business. Wal-Mart Express stores get you in and out fast, with milk, eggs, a pharmacy, check-cashing services and gasoline pumps.
Hear what Wal-Mart executives said to reassure shareholders about its sales in the following video.
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All of these moves are designed to reverse a sales slump in the U.S. that has lasted for eight straight quarters. Wal-Mart has made some bad decisions in the past few years as the recession hit, and it has been desperate to reverse its momentum.
Wal-Mart shares fell more than 1% Wednesday to $52.23. Shares have spent much of the past year in the $52-$55 range.
The economic downturn sent more shoppers to dollar stores and supermarkets. Those who still went to Wal-Mart stopped buying the more profitable items, including furniture and clothing, and focused on household items and other basics.
Wal-Mart cleared out the clutter in its stores, removing items in an effort to spruce up and appeal to wealthier shoppers during the recession. But that backfired with its core base, which wanted more selection and value.
So what do you think? Will a smaller Wal-Mart bring shoppers back to the company?
But don't you love to people watch at wal mart? I was in wm Quinlan Texas recently and was astounded by the folks shopping there. Grossly overweight tattooed (sp) women hanging over a shopping cart while eating a box of fried chicken from the deli. Hordes of filthy children running around. Uber skinny (meth heads) mullet wearing white guys shirtless with cut-off jeans for shorts with the pockets hanging lower than the unhemmed line. I swear it was like the Night of The Living Dead. Horrible is what it was...............................
They can't scale their business without losing the economies that make it possible. They will put themselves out of business in the name of having it all - LOL
A terrible company I will not support. I about threw up the last time I was in a store as it was awful smelling.
They are morons pawning junk affluence.
The size of the store is not the issue. The problem with Wal-Mart is losing sight of Sam's values.
The first one is treating their employees fairly and paying them a living wage. I worked for Wal*Mart back in the 90s. I was shocked to discover that Wal*Mart is starting their cashiers out at the same wage they started at back then. This would also help with their customer service issues. Happy workers are more likely to be pleasant and want to go further to help their customers.
The next thing is go back to selling only merchandise made in the USA. That would bring a lot of customers back and put people back to work so they might buy more. Most Americans would rather buy goods made here than in a foreign country.
Finally bring back the variety of merchandise they once had. Wal Mart has quit selling things people want. Of course, we can buy these things elsewhere. While we are in the other store we see things we could have bought at Wal*Mart. Why go to Wal*Mart when we can get it where we are? Even if this other store does not have everything we need, it is highly likely it is near a store that does.
Hmmm, drive across town to Wal*Mart or across the parking lot. Come to think of it I haven't been to Wal*Mart in months.
I guess they are making enough money, because upper management does not care. I emailed their CEO, Michael Duke about problems and he didnot even have one of his staff email me back. Their customer service out and out lies to people. They basically read from a script and do nothing to help customers.
Because of this, they lost $500 in sales from me last weekend. I shopped at Target, Sears and a coulpe of other stores, rather than accept bad customer service, lying customer service agents and upper managements obvious disdain for fixing problems.
They could open a store, small and/or large, within walking distance of my home and I would not shop there any longer.
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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