Chicago is Walmart's kind of town

Plans for Express, Market and supercenter formats

CHICAGO — Walmart has succeeded in bringing its smaller-format store concept to Chicago, helping to make the case that the retailer can find success in more urban markets, including New York, which thus far has eluded the retailer.

The company announced that it has secured locations in West Englewood for Walmart Market and Walmart Express stores. According to the company, West Englewood is in the heart of a food desert and is one of Chicago’s most underserved communities.

In addition to the West Englewood Market and Express stores, Walmart's Chicago plans include the opening in spring 2012 of a supercenter in Pullman. In winter 2012, the retailer plans to open another supercenter in West Chatham, as well as an Express store.

“When I met with Walmart last year, I encouraged them to take an approach that addressed the needs of the urban shopper if they truly wanted to make a difference in our underserved neighborhoods,” said Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. “Today, it appears that Walmart has done just that by creating smaller, urban store formats that will better serve our communities. I applaud their leadership in creating jobs and providing retail and grocery services in areas of the city that need it most.”

The Walmart Express stores will be less than 30,000 sq. ft. and will focus on a broad assortment of brands at everyday low prices, selling grocery, pharmacy and limited general merchandise, the company reported. Walmart Market — previously called Neighborhood Market — will range in size from 30,000 sq. ft. to 60,000 sq. ft. and will provide a wider assortment of fresh grocery, as well as a bakery and delicatessen.

“Mayor Daley has been a champion of economic development in the city, and his support of Walmart through the years has allowed us the opportunity to do what we do best: open stores that create jobs and offer a broad assortment of products at everyday low prices,” said Julie Murphy, Walmart U.S. SVP, who is based in Chicago. “Moving forward, we will continue to identify sites in Chicago’s food deserts, while also looking for opportunities to help even more Chicagoans save money and live better.”

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