Wal-Mart's Opens Four Marketside Locations

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Wal-Mart's Opens Four Marketside Locations

PHOENIX -- The greater metropolitan area here is now home to four new Wal-Mart Marketside stores, a move that has competitors keeping a watchful eye.

The 15,000-square-foot stores, carrying 5,00 to 7,000 value-priced products, is in direct competition with the 10,000-square-foot Fresh & Easy stores operated by Tesco, reported the Financial Times.

Along with curious shoppers, the grand opening in Mesa attracted other competitors including executives from Fry’s supermarkets, owned by Kroger. Safeway, Supervalu and Giant Eagle are also testing small store formats, reported the paper.

Like Tesco’s approach, Marketside features own-branded meals and side dishes, reported the paper. Unlike Wal-Mart’s big box store approach, Marketside’s appearance is nuanced with a kitchen with baking facilities for preparing bread on the premises, and an oven for heating its own-brand pizzas. Wal-Mart executives told the paper the stores are part of a 10-store pilot, with another store in Phoenix currently under construction.

With an eye on the southern California market, if the pilot program is deemed successful, Marketside locations could also be proposed in Chicago and New York, according to the report.