Wal-Mart said earlier this month that its smaller-format stores are making inroads against dollar stores, supermarkets and pharmacies, and that the company will increasingly move toward stores below 60,000 square feet.
During the current fiscal year, Wal-Mart's Bill Simon said they expect to open about 115 smaller-format stores, with The Neighborhood Market and Express locations accounting for about 40% of stores the retailer opens. Simon calls it a "rapid ramp-up."
"We can deliver price, and assortment and fresh food and Rx," said Simon, who believes the smaller-format stores provide a full package of products and services that competitors lack.
Even with the growth of these smaller-format stores, about 90% of Wal-Mart's existing stores are supercenters or large stores. The company plans an additional 125 supercenters this year.