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Shiny New Walmart

Shiny New Walmart
Save money. Live better. That's the Walmart slogan on TV. Internally, its slogan could be: Spend money. Do better. Walmart's on a tear to expand and revise its stores.
 
Denton's new Walmart on University Drive
Yesterday, we snapped the new Denton Walmart (anchor for the new Rayzor Ranch Marketplace). In one day in October, Walmart opened five stores in Texas, including the 188k SF one above, and a 203k SF store in Benbrook. It's also remodeling. UNT Economic Development Center director Terry Clower tells us it’s part of Project Impact, which has been going on two years and will take two to three more. Walmart's updating the look of its stores to keep shoppers who came during the recession and may consider going back to more upscale retailers, he says.
JC Burciaga
Weitzman Group DFW investment advisory services director JC Burciaga says Target is also remodeling. It's revamped dozens of stores in DFW to add grocery and produce sections to non-SuperTarget stores. The chain redeveloped a store in Mesquite in 2009 and then rebuilt it as a SuperTarget. Terry says the Walmart renovations compare to the upgrades Target did a few years back when it became clear it couldn't compete with Walmart head-to-head on prices. He wonders if these upgrades will cut into Target's market. DFW is one of the “most competitive markets around, and these remodels help leading retailers keep their edge," JC says, adding that other retailers remodeling include Kroger and, in Austin and San Antonio, H-E-B.
Greg McDonald
TWG investment advisory services EVP Greg McDonald (on Christmas  countdown) tells us word on the street is Walmart has more expansion plans in DFW for its smaller concept stores. As of November, its Texas presence includes 305 supercenters, 38 discount stores, 33 neighborhood markets, 73 Sam’s Clubs, and 16 distribution centers. All discounters are looking for stores, Greg says. The smaller ones—like Family Dollar, Dollar General, 99 Cents Only, and Hispanic grocers—are all actively looking. No truth to the rumor that the first three are merging to form the $2.99 Store.
Walmart renovated interior
The layout of the new Walmart store is easier to navigate: Products that customers most often purchase are grouped together, including health and beauty, and pet supplies. (Beauty supplies for pets are still hidden, as it's a niche market.) Lower shelving creates an improved sightline and there's more directional signage. Walmart also combined the customer service desk, online order pick-up location, and photo lab in one area near the entrance. The North Richland Hills Walmart at 6401 NE Loop 820 and the Mansfield Walmart at 2951 Matlock Rd both had remodels completed in the past month.