Why Wal-Mart Express Fell Flat

Originally posted onto Newsaratti.com 2/1/16

 

Everything and anything provider Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has had its most recent endeavor Wal-Mart Express, with a total of just over 100 running storefronts, fall flat on account of a very unsuccessful run over the past five years due to a not fully inflated business plan consisting of poor location planning and stocking.

The general store giant has had to cover its losses by closing up a grand total of 269 global stores this month, according Wal-Mart officials.

The move to smaller storefronts that are closer compared to “convenience marts” than actual stores came from a desire to move Wal-Mart into new areas that it could not reach before: condensed city centers.

Wal-Mart store size is the biggest issue here. When you think Wal-Mart, you usually conjure up the image of a warehouse sized store that you can barely see opposite walls from one place on account of the vast sizing of the place. Due to this size issue, Wal-Mart limits itself to having locations where there can be ample room to stretch out over. In the suburbs, off of highways, pretty much really out of the way locations far from condensed concrete-jungle city centers.

To the top brass based in Bentonville, Arkansas, this simply would not due.

To bridge the gap, the brainchild aptly named “Wal-Mart Express” was born. In theory, it’s not a bad idea: a Wal-Mart that can fit in a corner boutique between a Starbucks and a Chipotle. With a store front that drops down to a cozy 12,000 square feet as compared to its big brother stores with wingspans of just under 200,000 square feet, it could fit almost anywhere in a busy urban center that folks on the go could drop in on to quell any quick shopping needs.

The idea of the Express was not so much to satisfy shoppers, but rather to remind shoppers of what they are missing in the Supercenters just outside of the crowded city centers. With the products on the shelves in the Express stores not being nearly as diverse as the ones on the shelves of the Supercenters, the Express just wasn’t helpful to city bound shoppers who were looking for a full Wal-Mart experience. Groceries were nulled, as well as the diverse selection of goods Wal-Mart is known for.

This frustrated shoppers because it just wasn’t helpful to go to an Express. It wasted more time than saved it.

With the hope that the Wal-Mart Express would serve as an appetizer for its massively sized older siblings, shoppers just didn’t bite. If the Express sought to provide the same experience for shoppers as it would have in their large stores but with a smaller selection, then perhaps it would have been more successful than it had been. Although it kept its old commitment to help shoppers “Save Money, Live Better”, it neglected a point that shoppers went to Wal-Mart for in the first place: diversity of products. Dropping down in size that far really causes a scramble for deciding which products will be on shelves and which will not.

 

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