Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Wal-Mart Marketside test feels economic hit


castrowrightNot too long ago, U.S. grocers were sprinting to be the first to get smaller stores up and running. Not any more.

Wal-Mart Vice Chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright said the world’s biggest retailer is taking its time testing its convenience store-sized Marketside grocery stores, due to the economy.

“We’re pleased with it, but at this point in time given the current condition in the marketplace … we are not accelerating that effort until we have better data to make a decision,” Castro-Wright told reporters after the retailer’s annual meeting.

 In October, Wal-Mart officially opened four Marketside stores in the Phoenix area. The stores cater to shoppers who are looking for ready-to-eat meals and fresh produce, and might not have time for a trip to a full-scale grocery store.