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Wal-Mart Not Quite Happy with Express Format

It might be just a case of growing pains. But once more there are indications that Wal-Mart's new Express format isn't working out quite as planned.

Crain's Chicago Business reports the retailer made the decision to shutter its 10,0000-sq.-ft. Express store in the West Chatham area of Chicago and has not gone ahead with any additional Express stores in the Chicago area, in spite of previous plans. Wal-Mart's executives claim the West Chatham store had to be closed because it was cannibalizing sales from a newly opened nearby supercenter.

However, according to an analyst with Kantar Retail:

“The supercenter was supposed to be the place for once-a-month big trips, and the Express would be for convenient fill-in trips during the week,” says Leon Nicholas, director of insights at London-based consultant Kantar Retail. “They weren't supposed to cannibalize each other, so the fact that it didn't work indicates the strategy was wrong.”

Earlier in the year, we talked about how Wal-Mart was having difficulty gearing its retailing model toward urban markets.

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