Viewpoints Differ on Neighborhood Markets

Jan 22, 2003

By George Anderson

Wayne Hood, retail analyst, Prudential Securities told the New York Times, “If I was a supermarket or drugstore chain and I saw this (Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market) coming, I’d be worried.”

Kim Eskew, vice president of marketing for the 45-unit Harp’s Food Stores chain offered another view, “Out of the first four Neighborhood Markets they opened, three of them were right across the street from us. Most of the business the Neighborhood Market does has come from the Supercenters that are nearby.”

Moderator’s Comment: What is your assessment of the
competitive threat posed by Wal-Mart’s Neighborhood Market stores to other retailers
and its own stores?

Clearly, Wal-Mart is not building Neighborhood Markets
to siphon off business from its larger format units. Could it be, however, the
perceived threat that many retailers feel is bigger than the reality?
Anderson – Moderator

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