Walmart Sets Plans for New Smaller Format in U.S.

BENTONVILLE, Ark.-Walmart will debut new, smaller-format stores in the United States, which will be called Walmart Express.

Speaking at yesterday's Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer Conference, Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S., said the new Walmart Express format will measure roughly 15,000 square feet. The company is still developing the format, and Simon said it will open pilot Walmart Expresses, both with and without pharmacies, in both urban and rural areas beginning in the second quarter.

"The aim here...is to get the right model so we can rapidly roll these things out," Simon told the conference. "At our peak, we built about 350 supercenters in a year, so when we get this thing right, these are going to come real fast."

According to press reports, the company will begin building the first Walmart Express in Gentry, Ark., about 20 miles from here, on March 16.

Simon said Walmart has already opened its first Walmart on Campus, which includes food and pharmacy, on the campus of the University of Arkansas. He also said the company will rebrand its Neighborhood Markets, measuring from as little as 25,000 to 30,000 square feet to as much as 60,000 to 70,000 square feet, as Walmart Markets.

Smaller formats are not new to Walmart, Simon said, citing formats such as Todo Dia in Brazil, Bodega Aurerra Express in Mexico and ChangoMas in Argentina. "We run small formats all over the world," he said, "and these small boxes are among the most profitable businesses that these countries run. So as we borrow and learn from them to build the U.S. small-format portfolio, we think we can deliver that end-to-end continuum that will give access to customers wherever they might be with the products that are most relevant to them in the markets that they are in."

As of press time this morning, Walmart had not returned messages asking for comment on how many Expresses it plans to open this year.

HFN Staff | News & Commentary

HFN provides detailed information on the key home classifications: Housewares, Tabletop, Floor Covering & Rugs, Furniture, Home Textiles, Lighting, Home Decor, Mattresses & Bedding, Gifts, Major Appliances and Consumer Electronics as well as Business, Finance and Retail.

Videos

Subscribe to
HFN Omnichannel
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.

Current Issue

  • HFN May digital issue

    HFN's DIGITAL EDITION

    May 2017


    COVER STORY: HFN Turns 90

    We commemorate HFN's 90th anniversary by paying tribute to the iconic retailer and supplier brands--and the people--that have helped the industry flourish, then and now.


    ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

    • Up & Coming Leaders - The home industry is in capable and visionary hands as this year’s 40 Under 40 list attests. Today’s young leaders span all disciplines and varied levels of operation.
    • Omnichannel Retailing - In the Mobile App World, Time is Money