Sprawl-Busters Newsflash Blog - Anti-Sprawl news since 1998.
Subscribe to Sprawl-Busters Blog Follow Sprawl Busters on Twitter
Occupy Walmart & Order Al's Books Movies Newsflash! The Case Against Sprawl Home Towns Not Home Depot Victories Your Battles About Us Contact Us  

recent news

List articles
by the month:

2017
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2016
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2015
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2014
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2013
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2012
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2011
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2010
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2009
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2008
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2007
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2006
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2005
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2004
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2003
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2002
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2001
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2000
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1999
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1998
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC


Search database by text:

2014-03-02
Bentonville, AR. Wal-Mart Shifts to Smaller Formats, But Superstores Remain

The media made a lot of Wal-Mart's recent announcement that it would be building more smaller format stores. But less noticed was the fact that 115 superstores are still on Wal-Mart's forecast for 2015, guaranteeing some ugly fights across grassroots U.S.A.

Last June, at its gala shareholder's annual event in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Wal-Mart boasted of its vital statistics in America: 641 million square feet of U.S. stores---an increase of 14 million square feet (+2%) compared to 2012. While most analysts look at sales performance, Sprawl-Busters is looking at store unit count, and the mix of units. Because local communities do not fight sales growth, they fight bricks and mortar stores.

In fiscal 2013, Wal-Mart added 137 new stores in the U.S., which was almost as many as the total of 165 new units they added in the previous three years combined. During the Great Recession, Wal-Mart new store production slowed to a crawl in the U.S. In 2010, the retailer added on 52 new units, and in 2011, the new units dropped to one of the lowest counts ever: 49 new stores.

Last June, in its annual report, Wal-Mart said it would spend up to $6 billion in the U.S. on store growth, adding up to 17 million addition square feet of store space. But eight months later, in the face of weak comparative store sales, bad weather which closed 200 stores, and food stamp cuts, Wal-Mart changed its U.S. growth plans. Wal-Mart's newly minted CEO Doug McMillon announced "an increased capital allocation, above our previous forecast, to accelerate small store growth in the U.S."

But this does not signal a moving away from huge superstores. McMillon referred to "the combination of supercenters and smaller formats" as the new strategy.

Wal-Mart will increase its capital expenditures up by $600 million, to a new Wal-Mart U.S. total of nearly $7 billion in 2015. The company projects it will add 130 large format stores in 2014 (less than half of what it produced in trhe mid 1990s), and its guidance now for superstores is around 115 new units in 2015. Small format stores will rise from a projection of 121 units in 2014, to as high as 300 new units in 2015.

Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon made it clear that the giant retailer is not abandoning its jumbo superstores. "In October, we announced our plan to grow our U.S. store base with large and small formats," Simon said in a February 20th press release. "Today, we are expanding on our original plans with additional small stores. We will maintain our projection for supercenter growth with approximately 115 new stores."

What this means is that 115 communities across America can expect a big box battle in 2015, slightly less than in 2014---but still a new proposal to fight an average of every 3 days. The smaller format stores do not kick up as much resistance has the huge superstores, which have a much heavier impact on surrounding property owners, as well as traditional downtowns and smaller businesses. The Neighborhood Markets and Express stores that Wal-Mart's build will displace existing convenience stores, grocery stores, and gas stations---but neighbors do not perceive them as a major threat to residential living. A Dollar Store can quietly set up shop in most communities, but Wal-Mart has become the equivalent of a nuclear waste dump.

While the mainstream media now focuses on labor battles at Wal-Mart, the local site fight movement continues unabated. Sprawl-Busters estimates that in 2015 at least half of the proposed 115 superstores will run into a buzz saw of local opposition.

Readers are urged to contact Carol Schumacher at Wal-Mart Investor Relations at 479-277-1498 with the following message: "Please let Bill Simon know that America does not need 115 new Wal-Mart superstores. We are over-saturated with superstores. You are already cannibalizing your own comp sales. If you think this past winter was bad, the Ice Age of superstores is coming. Your huge, cavernous, windowless stores are retail dinosaurs. Citizens groups across the U.S. will fight these superstores until they become extinct. Get small while you can."

What you can do: What this means is that 115 communities across America can expect a big box battle in 2015, slightly less than in 2014---but still a new proposal to fight an average of every 3 days.

The smaller format stores do not kick up as much resistance has the huge superstores, which have a much heavier impact on surrounding property owners, as well as traditional downtowns and smaller businesses. The Neighborhood Markets and Express stores that Wal-Mart builds will displace existing convenience stores, grocery stores, and gas stations---but neighbors do not perceive them as a major threat to residential living. A Dollar Store can quietly set up shop in most communities, but Wal-Mart has become the equivalent of a nuclear waste dump.

While the mainstream media now focuses on labor battles at Wal-Mart, the local site fight movement continues unabated. Sprawl-Busters estimates that in 2015 at least half of the proposed 115 superstores will run into a buzz saw of local opposition.

Readers are urged to contact Carol Schumacher at Wal-Mart Investor Relations at 479-277-1498 with the following message:

"Please let Bill Simon know that America does not need 115 new Wal-Mart superstores. We are over-saturated with superstores. You are already cannibalizing your own comp sales. If you think this past winter was bad, the Ice Age of superstores is coming. Your huge, cavernous, windowless stores are retail dinosaurs. Citizens groups across the U.S. will fight these superstores until they become extinct. Get small while you can."










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

info@sprawl-busters.com
Strategic Planning ~ Field Operations
Voter Campaigns 
21 Grinnell St, Greenfield ~ MA 01301
(413) 772-6289