Wal-Mart Breaks Out Of Its Box

After years of expanding primarily in rural and suburban locations, the giant retailer begins to adapt to more urban locations.
March 23, 2004, 8am PST | Janet Boyko
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Wal-Mart is following the lead of other big-box retailers, such as Target and K-Mart, adapting its form to fit into urban markets. For years, Wal-Mart focused its tremendous expansion efforts on under-served rural communities where land was inexpensive and a cookie cutter building format of a one-story building surrounding by a sea of parking fit easily into the landscape. Since expansion is critical to Wal-Mart's game plan, reaching new markets is crucial. Not an easy task for a company with already more than 4,900 stores worldwide. As Wal-Mart enters the urban arena, it faces some new challenges. "Space constraints, along with public opposition to cookie-cutter stores with drab exteriors and enormous asphalt lots, have forced Wal-Mart to design new store layouts and make other concessions to blend in with local tastes."

Thanks to Janet Boyko

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Published on Monday, March 22, 2004 in The Kansas City Star
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