Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Toliver

New Walmart Grocery stores

Recommended Posts

Wal-Mart's new grocery store

They are called Marketside Grocery Stores.

Designed to break into the as yet untapped high-income urban demographic, shoppers who traditionally reject the company's 261,000 sq. ft. Supercenters as the epicenters of all that is wrong with consumerism, capitalism, and the plight of our planet, the new small-store format makes no mention of its corporate parent. Deep exploration of the concept's fancy website finally reveals the master.

From the rest of the article it sounds like they are following in the footsteps of the European-based grocery store chain now in the U.S. called Fresh & Easy. It's a smaller store with some groceries and fresh produce but with ready-made food, as well. I guess it would be comparable to a Trader Joe's, too.

It's interesting that Walmart is attempting to a) go for the high-income demographic when it's the opposite demographic that made them the giant successful corporation they are today, and b) that they are "hiding" their connection to the stores due to its negavtive connotation with some consumers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in Phoenix Metro we have the Fresh N Easy and Marketside going in old Osco Drugstores. I have not been in a Fresh N Easy, but have gotten lukewarm reviews from my friends who have. When I googled Fresh N Easy, it looks like they are not performing up to Tesco's expectations. I wonder if Marketside will be equally disappointing for WalMart. It seems Trader Joe's is the chief competition for them, but I think TJ shoppers are very loyal. I know I am a loyal TJ shopper so I probably won't entering a Marketside. I have a Marketside and a TJ's equidistant from me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here in Phoenix Metro we have the Fresh N Easy and Marketside going in old Osco Drugstores.  I have not been in a Fresh N Easy, but have gotten lukewarm reviews from my friends who have.  When I googled Fresh N Easy, it looks like they are not performing up to Tesco's expectations.  I wonder if Marketside will be equally disappointing for WalMart.  It seems Trader Joe's is the chief competition for them, but I think TJ shoppers are very loyal. I know I am a loyal TJ shopper so I probably won't entering a Marketside.  I have a Marketside and a TJ's equidistant from me.

Can you take one for the team and visit both the Marketside (is it even open yet?) and the Fresy & Easy and report back info on the stores? Use TJ as the measuring yardstick. How does the produce compare? How are their prices, whether on staples or the ready-made food? I'm pretty sure the Fresh & Easy stores may be self-checkout. Is this true?

Even though both the Fresh & Easy and Marketside are aimed at higher-income demographics, I'd be interested to see, when Marketside opens, if having Walmart as the parent company will help its prices to be more competitive. And how will this impact the prices at Fresh & Easy which is going for the same demographic?

Any info would be welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure. The Marketside looks to be a few weeks from opening, so when it's ready I'll make the "sacrifice" and give my report. There's a new Fresh N Easy a couple miles away that looks like it may open nearly at the same time. Looks like the roller-derby of competing Specialty Markets openings will soon commence. Let's see who offers the best "get me in the door" incentives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have shopped Fresh & Easy in Phoenix. There is no Marketside near me, and I am not really wanting to give them any financial support, but, if I see one, I'll go look around.

Fresh & Easy is designed to be a quick-stop type market. They are not deep in selection, but they aren't meant to be. They are also heavy on their house brand items. In some categories, like detergent or ketchup, you may find one national brand plus the house brand and that's it.

I like the fact that they don't carry foods with transfats, and they carry a large assortment of organic items. It's the only place I buy tortillas now, since the only place in Phoenix that made non-transfat tortillas closed a couple of years ago.

It's the only place to get transfat-free cake/cookies, made with real butter, aside from a bakery that's 8 miles away. They aren't phenomenal, and I usually make my own, but when the hubby is weak, it's at least decent real food not a trans-fat chemistry lab.

Yes, checkout is all u-scan, but associates are there to help. They have a hybrid self-scan cashier lane or two for checking out large quantities, and they will man those stations continuously if it's busy.

They have a sampling station that seems to be open all the time. It's a fully outfitted kitchen and employees really make the food you try. It also has handwashing facilities, so I trust them a bit more than other sampling situations.

The prices have been cheaper than other local markets. Plus, you can get a weekly coupon for $5 off every $20 you spend there (excluding alcohol.) They also mark down items to half price if they are close to expiring, so you can sweep through and get some real bargains if you're willing to consume the food soon.

Pluses:

Bakery goods, while not great, are better than supermarket chain stuff.

Carries commodity type groceries at cheap prices.

Has a good, although small, selection of world foods basics.

Has flat pretzels (current favorite snack) cheaper than anyplace else.

Has a pretty good selection of inexpensive wines. (low end of Bevmo's selection)

Has organic basil year-round in big bags for a very cheap price.

The downsides are:

Produce is pre-packed, so you have to buy a bag of lemons instead of just one.

Produce selection is limited, so you won't find more high-end specialty items.

Bakery and deli items are made at a central commissary and brought to the store.

Overall, I like the store. But it's also really close to my house. I don't know that I'd stop in so often if it were further away. It does not replace my weekly trips to Sprouts (farmer's co-op-owned grocery with better produce) but, it has almost completely replaced my trips to conventional supermarkets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lisa prety much hit the nail on the head. I shop and F&E a time or two per week just to pick stuff up on the way home. I've found some great deals on meat on occasion and some good ones of veggies. Chicken leg/thighs for $0.78/lb can't be beat anywhere. There is plenty of stuff that is not cheap though and just as high as conventional stores. I've overheard people talk about how great this store is. While they have some low priced food, overall I don't think it's anything to write home about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is this new Wal-Mart concept different from the existing Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have shopped Fresh & Easy in Phoenix...

Lisa,

Thanks for the details about the Fresy & Easy.

I saw my brother this past weekend and he said he likes to go into the Fresh & Easy after 3pm. I don't know if they do this at all locations but he said after 3pm they mark down all of their produce...some up to 50% off. That's pretty encouraging because it means it's more likely their produce is fresh daily and hasn't been laying in the bin for a week.

He said he also likes their "BBQ pack" which was a couple hamburger patties, 4 brats and some chicken (the meat is packaged seperately but all bound together) for about five bucks. He said it's great to have in the freezer to keep on hand for when unexpected guests pop up.

The downsides are:

Produce is pre-packed, so you have to buy a bag of lemons instead of just one.

Produce selection is limited, so you won't find more high-end specialty items.

Bakery and deli items are made at a central commissary and brought to the store.

Sounds like Trader Joe's...

How is this new Wal-Mart concept different from the existing Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets?

Negihborhood Markets don't exist in my area so I can't make the comparison.

edited to clarify.


Edited by Toliver (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Vons Grocery store, down the street from the afore-mentioned Walmart Neighborhood Grocery store, is closing. They blinked. ¬¬

Vons announced the news a couple weeks ago. I've stayed away from the closing store and from what I am sure is the madness within of people scrambling for any sort of deal they can find. It's final closing date will be within a week or so. I would say it will likely be replaced by a 99¢ store except for the fact that there's already a Dollar General store in that same shopping center so that won't happen.

I didn't shop at the Vons very often. Their prices were far more expensive than what Walmart offers. Before the Walmart came along, Vons was the only grocery store in my area and ruled the roost. They were, eventually, in for a rude awakening, as it has come to pass.

 

But on the flip side, Walmart used to carry Eckrich Sausages and got me hooked on them (I got my mom hooked on them because they were skinless and she could eat them without any...uhm...dental issues. ;) xD 

Then Walmart stopped carrying Eckrich (maybe Eckrich didn't pay them enough to carry the brand any longer ¬¬). So back I would go to Vons for the Eckrich Sausage. Now I will have to drive much further away, to another neighborhood and to another Vons, to buy that brand.

 

I m sure this story of a closing grocery store will repeat itself in other neighborhoods/states in the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Toliver said:

I would say it will likely be replaced by a 99¢ store except for the fact that there's already a Dollar General store in that same shopping center so that won't happen.

 

 

Since Dollar General, Like Family Dollar, isn't a 99 cents store or a dollar tree, you may get a 99 cents store.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Porthos said:

 

Since Dollar General, Like Family Dollar, isn't a 99 cents store or a dollar tree, you may get a 99 cents store.

Ah, math raises it's ugly face, yet again.

Yes, Dollar General is not a 99¢ store, hence the word "Dollar" in the name of the store. :B

Thank you for the correction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least here in Michoacán Walmart has 3 levels of stores--Bodega Aurrera (the low end warehouse style store with a full produce section), traditional Walmart, and Superama (high end with a lot of merchandise that is hard to find elsewhere). Superama has a particularly good fresh fish department--I once saw a whole tuna on ice, and they regularly have full sides of bacalao at Christmas, thick with salt. Prices are only slightly higher.

 

However, other than Bodega Aurrera, those stores are in Morelia and we don't go there very often. So we keep lists and do our shopping in one trip.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×