BENTONVILLE, Ark. â€” The small-format Marketside stores Wal-Mart will open in Phoenix later this year will reportedly be more upscale than the companyâ€™s other formats. According to reports in the Financial Times of London, the 15,000-square-foot stores will depart from Wal-Martâ€™s everyday-low-pricing strategy by taking more of a â€śpremiumâ€ť approach, including food prepared and served on the premises by â€śmeal specialists,â€ť who will also reportedly double as cashiers. The FT report quoted a job description that says, â€śPerhaps the most fun is the opportunity for this knowledgeable team to engage with customers, sharing cooking tips or providing recommendations for meal solutions.â€ť It was also reported that senior buyers at Marketside will oversee a unique private-label assortment, suggesting Wal-Mart is developing new lines exclusively for the small format. According to FT, the stores will be run out of an office in Phoenix by a new business development unit headed by David Wild â€” in contrast to discount stores, supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, which are all run from the corporate office here.
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