Friday, November 3, 2017

[EXCLUSIVE] Walmart Walks Away From Another Atlanta Area Neighborhood Market Store

Walmart plans to close its Walmart Neighborhood Market store at Blackwell Square Shopping Center in East Cobb December 4.  The approximately 41,000 square foot store opened in March 2013, and was one of a number of Neighborhood Market locations that Walmart opened in the area.  
The Blackwell Square store, which before Walmart opened was occupied by a thrift store, was seen as a boon to the area, as it provided nearby residents with a convenient place for groceries and other necessities.  Many, if not all, Walmart Neighborhood Market store are open 24 hours, a further convenience for area shoppers given Kroger's recent rollback of many of their stores to 1 am closures.  

Following the closure, Walmart will continue to operate one Neighborhood Market store in the area at the corner of Old Canton and Roswell Roads in Olde Mill Shopping Center, about seven miles away.  

Walmart's decision to close the Blackwell Square store comes on the heels of their closures of at least three other Atlanta area Neighborhood Market stores earlier this year.  

Walmart closed their Neighborhood Market store in Alpharetta Crossing shopping center this past May.  The 46,000 square foot store at the corner of Haynes Bridge Road and Old Milton Parkway opened in fall 2012.  This past April, Walmart closed their Neighborhood Market on Highway 92, just west of the Roswell city limits, after less than four years in business. The Walmart Neighborhood Market in the Bellemeade shopping center on Powder Springs Road in Marietta closed in February.

At the time of the previous three closures, as well as other closures around the country, Walmart cited "a careful review process, including financial performance and strategic alignment with long-term plans," as the reason for the closings.  Local sources indicate similar reasoning for the East Cobb closure.

Over the past few months, Walmart has significantly scaled back its Neighborhood Market concept, as well as completely eliminating its Walmart Express format, which was an even smaller footprint.  At the same time, Walmart introduced a standalone convenience store, fuel center and grocery pick-up concept in at least two locations.  ToNeTo Atlanta visited the Huntsville, Alabama location last year and there is a second open in Thornton, Colorado.  The concept is seen as a significant threat to Amazon and to Kroger and their ClickList format. 

Are you surprised that Walmart is closing their Neighborhood Market store at Blackwell Square Shopping Center? What would you like to see open in place of Walmart Neighborhood Market once it closes?  Where do you do the majority of your grocery shopping?

Please share your thoughts below.  

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gosh I hope they keep the other one in East Cobb open. I go often and its so convenient. 24 hrs and low prices ... Love it! Fingers crossed!

jeff a. taylor said...

This is not a surprise. The center is tremendously challenged and Wal-Mart did not generate any synergies there. In fact, a coffee shop opened and closed while Wal-Mart was a neighbor. The entire Canton Rd corridor needs a reset.