Neighborhood Market sees strongest growth to date

Walmart opened 32 of its small format Neighborhood Market stores during the third quarter and is on track to end the year with nearly 400 units enroute to bigger things in 2014.

Walmart’s small format stores generated third quarter same store sales of approximately 3.4%, according to the company, which rivals best-in-class supermarket competitors, namely Kroger.

“We saw continued strength in our fresh departments, particularly in produce and meat, along with adult beverages and key consumable categories,” said Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon. “In addition, our focus on pharmacy has driven consistent growth, with notably stronger prescription counts in new stores.”

According to Simon, the strength of Neighborhood Market is an indication of the unique combination of convenience, price and quality the format provides.

Walmart expects to add a total of 120 Neighborhood Market stores this year, up from an earlier projection which called for between 95 and 115 units and was an acceleration from 2012 growth which saw the addition of 79 units. The coming year promises to be the biggest ever for a format that debuted 15 years ago with Walmart indicating it will open between 120 and 150 Neighborhood Markets.