Wal-Mart to Adapt Stores to Local Demographics
By George Anderson
By its own estimation, Wal-Mart has 1,500 stores that serve what it calls a “significant” African-American population, 1,300 in areas where there are a large number of Hispanics
and 300 serving Asian-Pacific-American consumers. In addition to these ethnic distinctions, Wal-Mart has stores in a variety of locales serving consumers of different economic
The retailer has developed its “store of the community” initiative to better serve the needs of consumers in these local markets. Pat Curran, executive vice president of store
operations for Wal-Mart, told Dow Jones Newswires, the initiative places great emphasis on targeting ethnic tastes.
While the company is in the process of rolling out its “store of the community” program, Wal-Mart already has seen success where it has been implemented.
Wal-Mart’s Curran pointed to a store in Evergreen Park, Ill. as an example. The store serves a customer base that is more than 90 percent African-American. Wal-Mart has increased
the store’s sales by altering the product mix to include more ethnic food selections and health and beauty care items.
The retailer’s new Exsto urban fashion line is designed to better meet the fashion requirements of consumers in stores such as Evergreen Park.
Moderator’s Comment: What type of top and bottom line impact can retailers such as Wal-Mart and others expect from
taking a more targeted ethnic approach to store layout, product selection, etc.? Is ethnicity more important than other factors, such as income, when determining how to best serve
local shoppers? – George Anderson – Moderator
- Wal-Mart Aims To Better Serve Different Ethnic Groups – Dow Jones Newswires/The Wall
Street Journal (sub. required)