Walmart wants grocery stores in Pittsburgh

by: Robin Taylor Updated:

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PITTSBURGH,None —

Walmart wants to open grocery stores in the Pittsburgh area.  Walmart’s Neighborhood Markets would be smaller than their Supercenters and would be built in urban areas. 

 From a consumer perspective, this appears to be good news, especially for budget- conscious shoppers.

 Walmart typically builds Supercenters on the fringe of a metro area, where land is relatively cheap and space is plentiful, but now they’re looking at urban areas where good locations are harder to find.

 Since Pittsburgh has always been a good market for Walmart, it makes sense to branch out into grocery stores, giving city dwellers more low-cost options.

 Tim Schooley, at the Pittsburgh Business Times broke the story. 

 "Walmart is continuing to scout for locations to establish its Neighborhood Market stores here," said Schooley.

 Walmart's Neighborhood Markets are a fraction of the size of their Supercenters.  They're grocery stores with a drive-through pharmacy, some general merchandise and, of course, “everyday low prices.”

 Most of these smaller stores are found in city neighborhoods where there wasn't a lot of competition before Walmart moved in. 

 "These stores aren't nearly the revenue generators that their larger stores are.  So they're going to need to do four or five of these stores to equal the sales of a Supercenter," said Schooley.

 Just where these stores might go is still under lock-and-key.  The contracts haven’t been signed and no one wants to blow the deals.

 Giant Eagle dominates the grocery business in Pittsburgh, but it looks like the giant is getting some competition.  Bottom Dollar Food is opening 11 stores, and now it looks like Walmart is getting into the game as well.

 "It's more a matter of when, than if.  They are ramping these stores up around the country.  They're opening up in Boston and California and elsewhere," said Schooley.