BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here is looking for sites for its Neighborhood Market food-and-drug combo stores in the Tampa, Fla., and Nashville, Tenn., areas, according to local reports.
> According to local reports, Wal-Mart "has shown interest" in a 60,000-square-foot former Albertsons store in Nashville, although that space is about 20,000 square feet larger than the company's other Neighborhood Markets.
In Florida, Wal-Mart was reported to be scouting for sites in fast-growing suburbs in the Tampa Bay area.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the company could not discuss development plans for specific regions, although she said she was unaware of any sites that were under development in the Tampa area.
Asma Usmani, a retail analyst at Edward Jones, St. Louis, said she thinks Wal-Mart is still in the testing stage of the Neighborhood Market concept.
"They are still tweaking some things, but once they feel they are comfortable with the concept, they will begin accelerating the development of the Neighborhood Market stores," she said.
She said she expected the Neighborhood Markets, with their dual emphasis on low price and convenience, to be a significant threat not only to supermarkets but to drug stores and convenience stores as well.