I’m posting two separate comments about Walmart Express (its small format experiment) that were published within a few days of each other on RetailWire:
1. When Walmart is satisfied that its pilot is ready to roll out nationally, there is no doubt that it can move fast. There is still plenty of real estate out there, including takeover space available at the right price. The key is to make sure that the merchandise message inside Walmart Express is clearly defined: A knee-jerk response to dollar stores or chains like Aldi is probably not what’s called for.
2. Walmart may be making its own argument for going slowly, by ensuring that Walmart Express meets its own profitability standards before rolling it out. One of the secrets of its early success is the ability to edit assortments in a small footprint, to ensure that only the most productive and “wanted” merchandise is in the store. I see a lot of potential for Walmart Express in various locations, but especially in high-density sites where the costs of a full-sized store (site selection, zoning, etc.) are prohibitive.