Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Battle of the Retail Titans Begins: Wal-Mart to Open Small Format Stores in Arizona

Tomorrow's edition of the Financial Times is reporting that mega-retailer Wal-Mart will open four small-format grocery markets in the Arizona cities of Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe this summer.

All four of the cities where these four new stores will open are south-east of Phoenix. Further, some of the stores will be only a mile from where Tesco has, or soon will have, Fresh & Easy grocery markets. You can bet these four won't be the only small-format stores Wal-Mart opens in the region--or in the U.S.

The new, small-format stores from Wal-Mart will operate under the "MarketSide" banner. The "MarketSide" stores will be about 20,000 square feet, 5,000 to 7,000 square feet bigger than Fresh & Easy stores.

Read the Financial Times story here.

With Wal-Mart entering the small-format grocery arena, we're poised to see a battle between it and Tesco's Fresh & Easy like none that have been seen in decades--and maybe even ever--in U.S. food retailing history.

We will be covering this development closely, and often. Stay tuned.

Additionally, the blog Natural~Specialty Foods Memo has some added information to the Financial Times piece. You can read their story here.

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