Less is More for Walmart, Other Retailers

Smaller-store-format trend making an impact

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- There has been “significant change” in the world of retailing, reported Retail Customer Experience in introducing its 2011 list of the “Top 100 Retailers, Issues and Trends that are Making an Impact.”

Falling into the publication’s No. 18 spot: Smaller Store Formats.

“Taking its Neighborhood Market store concept a step further, big box champion Walmart is planning to open several dozen scaled-down stores throughout Chicago over the next five years, some no bigger than a 7-Eleven,” the publication reported. [Click here to read CSP Daily News’ firsthand account of a Walmart Express site in Chicago.]

“Conceived as a strategy for gaining entry into urban areas where its supercenters (average size, 185,000 square feet) either wouldn’t fit or weren’t welcome, the smaller-format stores also will give Walmart the opportunity to enter rural communities that are too small to support a supercenter.

“The trend toward smaller-footprint stores generally is credited to the pioneering efforts of Tesco’s Fresh & Easy concept, but, in many ways, it was a natural and cyclical reaction to the “bigger is better” mentality, one that has no doubt been helped along by the appeal of folksier retailers such as Whole Foods and The Fresh Market.”

[Click here for more details on the “2011 Top 100 Retailers, Issues and Trends That are Making an Impact” report.]