According to an article in Shopping Centers Today, Walmart said last week it plans to nearly double the number of its Neighborhood Market supermarkets over the next three years. Currently the company operates 185 of these stores, including 30 in Puerto Rico.
Walmart President and CEO Bill Simon is counting on the 42,000 square foot stores to help revitalize same-store growth after several sluggish years, while also easing entry into urban markets that don't have the room for a Supercenter.
Simon added that Neighborhood Market stores are easier to develop than Supercenters, which can take up to seven years to open.
The article also points to Walmart's Pick Up Today program, which allows customers to place orders online for pickup at a local store, as an additional benefit of the Neighborhood Market stores. The program launched last year and Simon said results have been encouraging.