Monday, September 29, 2008

Small-Format Food Retailing Memo: Wal-Mart Studying Second Small-Format Grocery Store Concept; Inside Marketside One Week Before the First Stores Open

The Blog Fresh & Easy Buzz, which covers and writes about Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, small-format food and grocery retailing, and related topics and issues, has two stories today about Wal-Mart, Inc. and small-format food retailing.

The first piece reports on and details comments Wal-Mart, Inc. CEO Lee Scott made earlier this month at the 15th Annual Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference in New York City about a second (besides its small-format Marketside) small-format grocery store concept the retailer is studying.

The second piece from Fresh & Easy Buzz provides new information about Wal-Mart's Marketside grocery and fresh foods stores -- the first four of which will open on October 4 in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe, Arizona, in the Phoenix, Arizona Metropolitan market region -- offering a look inside Marketside prior to the stores opening in a week.

The four Marketside stores (which we coined as "Small-Marts" in August, 2007) which are about 15,000 -to- 20,000 square feet will open in just one week.

The combination grocery, fresh and specialty foods stores -- which will feature basic groceries, natural, organic and specialty products, fresh baked goods, fresh produce and meats, craft beers, wines and spirits, and in-store prepared foods -- will herald a new era for Wal-Mart, one in which the world's largest retailer joins the prepared and natural/specialty foods categories in a major way.

The Marketside development also places Wal-Mart square in the center of the small-format food and grocery retailing revolution we've been talking about in Natural~Specialty Foods Memo since we first published the Blog in August, 2007, over a year ago.

The small-format food and grocery retailing revolution -- and small-format competition -- has just started. Stay tuned.

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