Guess what Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. just did in my former university town today? They launched a clearance sale at their Wal-Mart Express mini-location that will be closing down for good this Friday. This anecdote is not location specific. Wal-Mart is in the process of closing all 102 of its Wal-Mart Express locations this year.
Carol Spieckerman, a retailer, offered the most succinct of why this project failed: “Wal-Mart openly acknowledged its struggles to manage everything from pack sizes to back room processes and transportation to urban location. It was faced with operating a model that was more unique that synergistic with its core business. The small-format landscape is also quite crowded with seasoned competitors such as dollar stores, drug retailers, and hard discounters.”