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Walmart expands Neighborhood Market footprint, tests bigger format

Walmart Neighborhood Market
Neighborhood Market in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., has 57,000 sq. ft. of sales floor space.

Walmart has unveiled a bigger Neighborhood Market format with more selling space and added features.

In January, Walmart committed to opening or converting more than 150 stores in the next five years, with the Neighborhood Market format set to benefit.  Two new Neighborhood Market locations — a converted one in the Dune Lakes area of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., and a newly constructed one in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood — are the first locations to open under the initiative.

The two locations are not just remodeled or new — they're also bigger. With 57,000 sq. ft. of sales floor, pickup and delivery space, the Dune Lakes and Vine City stores have a footprint that’s about 17,000 sq. ft. larger than the average Neighborhood Market. The expanded space will allow Walmart to sharpen its focus on value, speed and convenience, the retailer said.

“With the larger layout, we can offer a broader assortment across the entire store,” Kyle Kinnard, senior VP, Neighborhood Markets, Walmart U.S., wrote in a blog on the company’s website. “Customers will see the biggest gains in our fresh departments. There will be more to choose from in bakery, produce, meat and dairy. Plus, the expanded service deli will offer more hot case options.

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In other benefits, the larger space for pickup and delivery orders in the new stores includes dedicated room for refrigerated goods, allowing employees to keep orders moving at an even faster pace. The stores also feature wider aisles to give customers more room to shop.

The larger format also allowed for the addition of a Mother’s Room for nursing moms, and a Health Services room in the pharmacy to provide customers with privacy for vaccinations and consultations. 

“As we remodel, convert and build new stores, we are being thoughtful about how to make our Neighborhood Markets right-sized for each community,” said Kinnard. “We continually evaluate all our stores to make sure they have the right assortment and services to match our customers’ expectations.”

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