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Physical and digital meet in Bentonville


Walmart’s saturation of Northwest Arkansas with its Neighborhood Market format continued this week with the opening of a new location on north Walton Boulevard just a few miles from the retailer’s headquarters.

Walmart has been on a building boom in the corner of Arkansas it calls home the past few years adding new Sam’s Clubs, Supercenters, a Walmart To Go convenience store, a grocery pick up facility and nearly 10 new Neighborhood Markets. Adding another new Neighborhood Market isn’t a huge deal, but the store’s location, its layout and some of the signing elements are noteworthy.

The store is located roughly two miles from a busy supercenter adjacent to Walmart’s headquarters, suggesting the retailer is not averse to cannibalizing sales from its larger format stores in the name of overall market share gains.

The small format Neighbohood Market store is designed to appeal to convenience oriented shopper and to take that concept to a higher level the store features a fuel center with multiple pumps and a tiny convenience store with a highly edit merchandise assortment.

Inside the main store, Walmart made a notable change to the layout by breaking the gondola runs that stretch from the front of the store to the rear to create a mini-action alley that bisects the store.

There is also a small section at the front of the store in the food section where lower profile fixtures are filled with organic and gluten free products. In terms of signing, Walmart was very aggressive in promoting its omnichannel capabilities.

On virtually every endcap throughout the store and with several freestanding navigational signs Walmart called out its buy online, pick up in stores capabilities. Employees even wore bright orange shirts touting the Walmart Pick up option.

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