ウォルマートは98年、アーカンソー州内に4店舗の実験店を設けた。 薬局、惣菜を置くなど完全に食品主体の店だ。 店舗面積は40000平方フィートと一般的なSMよりも一回り小さな規模だが、 近年主力の大型SMに比べると半分程度の規模である。 農村部を中心に展開してきたDS店舗の隙間を埋め、さらにDSやスーパーセンターの 入りこめない都市部に向けての出店戦略が動き出したと考えられる。 その背景は、食品のオペレーションが完成したという経営判断である。 食品部門においてもEDLP体制が確立したと言っていいだろう。 「食料品部門でも全米一」を目指すウォルマートの自信がこの業態に満ち溢れている。 試験期間で体制を整えた後、この新フォーマットでの全米制覇が始まるとみていいだろう。
■Wal-Mart Names New Retailing Concept: The Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., today announced the name of the company's newest retailing experiment: The Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. The Neighborhood Markets, to be tested in a handful of Arkansas locations, will be 40,000-square-foot facilities designed to complement and support Wal-Mart Supercenters by meeting the shopping needs of consumers who live between Supercenter locations. Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets will offer produce, deli foods, fresh meats and general grocery items, in addition to a selection of health and beauty aids, stationery and paper goods, pet products, cosmetics and household chemicals. The Neighborhood Markets will also feature convenient drive-through pharmacies. "We are excited about testing this new format." said David Glass, president and CEO of Wal-Mart. "They will serve as laboratories for our merchants to experiment with our merchandise mix and assortment." The Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets will operate under the principles that have made Wal-Mart the world's No. 1 discount retailer客uality products, low prices and friendly service. Wal-Mart plans to open its first two Neighborhood Markets, located in Bentonville, Arkansas and Sherwood, Arkansas, by mid-October. The grand opening date for the third test sight, located in Springdale, Arkansas, has not been announced.