New Markets


Fresh & Easy

The Market

Wal*Mart takes a lot of criticism for some of its activities. Yet there are things that we can learn from Wal*Mart. Sam Walton’s idea was to have products that were affordable, stores that were open….and associates that provided good customer service. Today Wal*Mart provides value to the customer. It also provides jobs to a lot of folks and it continues to develop new forms of retailing.

 The newest Wal*Mart concept is called Marketside. Marketside is a small-format concept similar in size to a Trader Joes.

In addition to convenience items, Marketside offers prepared meals and hot foods. Wal*Mart’s focus is on providing consumers with quick, convenient shopping similar to  the company’s earlier smaller size idea when it first launched its Neighborhood Market stores in 1998. The goal then was to offer a convenient alternative for consumers looking to stock up on a few items between their regular trips to a super center.

 The Arizona Republic reported that the store, while similar in size to a Trader Joe’s, is much more upscale in appearance. The paper also noted that the deli and kitchen features of the store would distinguish it from Fresh & Easy and other competitors that do not sell hot food.

While Marketside is far from alone in looking to be the choice for the convenience consumer. With Fresh & Easy (a subsidiary of UK retailer, Tesco) spreading throughout the Western United States and Safeway’s establishing a presence with its small-format The Market units in California, Marketside will have strong competitors.

Retailing is always a changing business. Strong retailers will always be testing and developing new concepts. They have to to keep up ahead of the competition.

Lesson Learned: Keep creating….keep evolving your business.