Wal-Mart has set its sights on Siloam Springs for a new Neighborhood Market expected to open next fall.
The retail giant is scaling up its grocery format to 500 stores in the next 18 months, a move that is expected to drive strong sales and a key element in Wal-Mart’s growth strategy.
“This is great news for Siloam Springs. We are thankful to Wal-Mart for continuing to bring growth and jobs to our city,” Siloam Springs Mayor John Mark Turner said. “This new development will continue to improve the quality of life for our residents and broaden our tax base.”
The new Neighborhood Market, located at Highway 412 and Holly Street, will create up to 95 jobs and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, according to Wal-Mart.
The store will be approximately 41,000 square feet, much like the new recent opening a in Bentonville. Wal-Mart said new store will include energy-efficient technology in keeping with its new more environmentally friendly prototype using LED lighting in the exterior signage and refrigeration cases.
“Walmart is excited for the opportunity to continue to expand our service to the people of Siloam Springs and Northwest Arkansas,” said Brian Hopper, Wal-Mart VP for real estate,
This will be the second location for Wal-Mart in Siloam Springs, a town of roughly 15,000 people. The city already has a supercenter that sells groceries and in the past two years attracted Aldi as well.
Retail analysts see Wal-Mart’s aggressive growth strategy as somewhat cannibalistic, given that the retailer continues expand in markets where it already has a strong presence.
Walmart continues to tout its expansion efforts as paramount to growing sales in part because these Neighborhood Markets are returning much higher comps as a cohort than the clunkier supercenter model.
Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said earlier this week that Wal-Mart’s retail competitors from the Dollar Stores, Kroger, Publix and others are doing a great job offering convenience at competitive prices.
He said the smaller formats and Wal-Mart’s ability to merchandise them with an endless aisle inventory through merging its e-commerce platform with site-to-store is something many other retailers are not doing.