Walmart Is Coming For New York

Thought impervious to Walmart colonization, urban centers like New York and San Francisco are the big box retailer’s next expansion targets.

Mr. Everyday Low Prices is taking a strategic approach. Instead of the all-encompassing warehouses it’s infamous for, Walmart seems to be planning 20,000 square foot outlets that are larger than a Duane Reade, but smaller than a ShopRite. The average normal-size Walmart is 108,000 square feet.

Will urbanites reject the micro-Walmarts? Or has the recession made snobbery unaffordable?

Wal-Mart to aggressively roll out smaller stores [Salon]

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    The Apocalypse is nigh.

  2. JasonR says:

    “I, for one, welcome our new micro-overlords.”

  3. Alvis says:

    If New Yorkers are going to like it, being small isn’t enough; it needs to be tiny AND overpriced to fit in there.

    • Mecharine says:

      Im gonna disagree. Trader Joes is large and inexpensive. And many of their items are “ghost” produced by very good producers, like the wine they sell. Trader Joes does it right by having smaller selection (no need for 20 different types of peanut butter) and rebranding big name brand stuff to store brand.

  4. Bernardo says:

    God I hope this comes to NYC. I am sooo sick of paying way too much for the basics. I pray, pray, pray this happens. There have already been stories in teh papers of Nyers getting robbed by the insane prices in bodegas and supermarkets. Walmart would fix this.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Wally, is that you?

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      You are mistaken.

      Like all other shops, Walmart is going to charge what they can get away with for as long as they can get away with it. If it brings them warm bodies through the door to charge significantly lower than the local competition for a while, they will.

      When they have everyone’s attention, the discounts will not be so steep.

      Here, where Walmart has been ensconced for sometime now, Walmart is NOT the shop of lowest price as a given. They are frequently trumped by Target in several areas. In others, they are lower than Target.

      But Walmart annoys me enough that I just go to Target for most things.

      • Bernardo says:

        How am I mistaken if you jsut wrote that they will beat the other prices? I shop at walmart when I’m in jersey or philly and its damned cheaper everyplace else I go than NYC. Its a great store and a great company. I just wish people would just stop hating them for being so smart and beating everyone else. If you wont shop there thats fine, but i bet there will be a hundred more people who will. Deal.

        • hosehead says:

          Their model might not work. Part of the amazingness of Walmart’s retail dominance is the inventory workflow, which tracks directly from manufactor, to shipment via sea/rail to warehouse depot to tractor-trailer to store. Pallet and pallet-jacks. It’s all JIT and they are very good at it. Their IT support for it is insane.

          Unless they find a unique space with room to park multiple trucks and unload them, they are going to find it hard to dominate inventory using u-boats and heavy labor.

        • Red Cat Linux says:

          You are mistaken because your post reads as if you will no longer be paying way too much for the basics because the sign outside says “Walmart”.

          Walmart simply charges what they can get away with. The same thing applies with price clubs. The theory being that you pay a membership and buy in bulk for a lower per unit price. In the research I did, I found that for the staples I purchased, it simply was not true.

      • haggis for the soul says:

        They don’t seem to be the place for lowest prices here anymore either. For grins, I went through their food store the other day to see how cheap everything was, and was very surprised to see prices comparable to the more high-end store in town. It seems they start out with low prices and then once people start to assume they’ll always get the low prices at Wal-Mart, the prices creep up. It was quite the eye-opener.

    • spazztastic says:

      Yeah. My local supermarkets charge $2.49 or more for the national brand juice my kid likes. Wal-Mart sells the same product for $1.98. Along with many other name-brand goods I purchase, Wal-Mart is consistently lower. If not for the nearest one to me require crossing an overpriced bridge, I’d be doing my weekly grocery shopping there.

      • Bernardo says:

        Yea its really not fare that we have to go out of town to get good deals. What kills me is soymilk. In the stores near me its 5.49 for a half a gallon in wally world they have it around 3 bucks. That adds up fast. Thank goodness a trader joes opened near me and I found some for 3.80ish.

  5. madanthony says:

    They sound like fairly small stores, and the article had a comment that they need to attract customers “who shop more than every 2 weeks when they get paid”.

    That suggests that these stores are aiming more at the bodega/convenience store/drug store market than anything else – and I suspect that isn’t a market with a whole lot of snobbery.

  6. NeverLetMeDown says:

    Works for me. Then again, I find myself ordering more and more household supplies from Amazon, now that I have Prime. Seems a bit silly to buy toilet paper through the Internet, but it’s cheaper and easier than going to a store.

  7. MercuryPDX says:

    Wow… VH-1 will just make a show about her dating ANYONE now.

    • Michaela says:

      She does like them rich, but Mr. Everyday Low Price still seems a little “cheap” for her. He should try wearing a big clock necklace. She’d probably like that.

  8. dreamking says:

    Never stepping foot in one of these places, not even to loot it were the city burning down. You wanted people to develop an emotional response to your brand? Congratulations. Mission accomplished.

  9. Lollerface says:

    You cannot fight Walmart.

  10. AllanG54 says:

    This would be really good for many of the city people if the stores had pharmacies with their $4 scrips. That’s really one of the only reasons I shop in WalMart where I live. By the way, the gal in the cart isn’t bad looking. Was she on sale as well?

  11. quijote says:

    It seems bizarre to me that Walmart still has target markets that it’s fighting to get into, as if it desperately needs to expand a few more stores. There can’t be that much financial motivation to pick off one more city. It’s more like it’s operating according to some doctrine of manifest destiny. Profit is incidental to the fulfillment of it’s destiny.

  12. CyGuy says:

    I hear there is a former Burlington Coat Factory building available in lower Manhattan that may be available. Or the could just put on directly in Ground Zero – after all following 9/11 Bush said the most patriotic thing we could do was go out and shop. And what is more American than Wal*Mart?

  13. mister_roboto says:

    I doubt the business will be very good in SF (depending on where they build it). I remember the noise made when they opened one in Oakland, and that 10,000 people had applied for job there, but could only hire 650 or so, $6.50 (then) state minimum wage for most of them, SF minimum wage is $9.75 now.

  14. sopmodm14 says:

    there’s a target in brooklyn, so walmart’s plan should work

    theirs also a costco in bkyn and in long island, so it’d be interesting where’d they put it

    its gotta have a parking lot, to attract volume, just where to place a store thats drivable/parkable and commutable via mass transit

    • 24gotham says:

      There is both a Target and Costco in Manhattan (E 117th St near the FDR), and there is parking. That said, I won’t bother to go because like most Manhattanites, I don’t have (or want) a car and it is too far to schlep to get there.

  15. WickedCrispy says:

    Thanks, Chicago!

  16. seanhcalgary says:

    Don’t like it? Don’t shop there. The masses will speak, one way or another.

    • Michaela says:

      I agree. Amazingly though, people tend to change their shopping once Wal Mart comes to town, even if they originally opposed the idea. I can’t even count the number of people I have met who claim to hate Wal Mart, but shop there anyway.

  17. malibumaniac says:

    They’ll probably do it like in LA. Stick to the poor areas and they’ll be fine. I remember a couple of years ago, Target tried to open a store in Santa Monica (very liberal, wealthy town) and many residents vocally opposed the store. Due to the traffic impacts associated with the project it was eventually killed by the planning department, but I remember Target released a statement essentially saying that they are over Santa Monica and just to spite them they’ll open a store nearby. It seriously sounded like a hurt teenager venting to his/her mom
    Anyway, I can’t imagine that most, if any, areas in San Francisco would be very welcoming to a Wal Mart store.

  18. Mike says:

    It is so cool to hate Wal Mart now, that is what my hipster cousin in Brooklyn told me.

  19. jgonzz says:

    The lack of Wal-Mart in NYC isn’t because of ‘snobbery’ but because of unions. The grocery union has been bleeding out of its rear since Wal-Mart started selling foods and stuff. They have been fighting against WMT expansion for years. The chant is ‘living wage’ which is a nonsense word. It’s like seeing a used car described as ‘extra clean’ or ‘extra sharp’. Expect the raising of the ‘bloodied shirt’ when the first WMT opens in Manhattan. WMT will of course become very popular which is the union’s darkest most bleak fear..