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Walmart customers hungry for alternative


Accurately forecasting demand is always a tricky proposition, but it appears Target missed the mark, in an encouraging way, with its new discount store in Rogers, Ark., where out-of-stocks have become a serious issue in the store’s expanded food and consumables department. This past Sunday, after a weekend of hard shopping, there were numerous holes in the food and consumables department and an entire four-foot section of Target’s newly repackaged Archer Farms brand cereal was sold out. The strong demand could be considered surprising since the store is located less than 10 miles from Wal-Mart’s headquarters and less than two miles from several upscale housing developments where numerous Wal-Mart executives and suppliers live. A decade ago, the location of a Target so deep in Wal-Mart territory might not have fared as well, since the demographics of the market and senior leadership in place at the time took a dim view of shopping at the competition. However, the past 10 years have seen marked changes in Northwest Arkansas, with a large influx of suppliers, in addition to Wal-Mart employees from other parts of the country, eager for shopping alternatives.


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