Wal-Mart focuses on smaller formats in urban areas

Wal-Mart focuses on smaller formats in urban areas

Wal-Mart Stores has flagged its intention to expand further in the Chicago area and insisted that it is on-track to create 10,000 jobs in the city by 2015.

Last year, Wal-Mart said that plans to open a swathe of stores located in the city as part of its efforts to expand - particularly through its smaller-scale Wal-Mart Express and Neighborhood Market formats - in metropolitan areas in order to grow lacklustre US sales. Last month, the US discounter reported its seventh consecutive quarterly decline in US same-store revenues.

The company has reached agreements with city planning authorities to open two large-format stores and two small-format Wal-Mart Express outlets, the first of which is set to open its doors this summer.

Commenting on the retailers plans, Chicago mayor Richard Daley praised the company's efforts to develop "smaller urban store formats" that are suited to the needs of city-dwelling consumers. "I applaud their leadership in creating jobs and providing retail and grocery services in areas of the city that need it most," he said yesterday (16 March).

Looking to Wal-Mart's plans for Chicago, Wal-Mart US vice president Julie Murphy said that the retailer would "continue to identify sites in Chicago's food deserts" to drive expansion.

Last month, New York City authorities met to discuss Wal-Mart's proposals to open stores within the city.