What Is Walmart Neighborhood Market and How Does It Differ From a Regular Store?

Hickory, NC, USA-22 June 18:  Walmart Neighborhood markets are a chain of smaller grocery stores, providing groceries, pharmacies, and sometimes gasoline.
J. Michael Jones / Getty Images

While everybody is familiar with Walmart — the company operates 10,500 retail units under 46 banners in 24 countries and e-commerce websites and is the largest U.S. private employer — some may be less familiar with its smaller, more targeted store: Walmart Neighborhood Market. However, with food prices soaring due to inflation, they are worth a look.

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Walmart launched its Neighborhood Market line in 1998 and contrary to regular Walmart stores, they are usually located in urban areas. They are also reportedly about one-fifth the size of Walmart Supercenters.

According to Mashed.com, Walmart Neighborhood Markets “provide an alternative for people who want better service, local ingredients, and healthier food options.” More significantly, though, is that they serve as competition for similar store concepts such as Trader Joe’s stores or Whole Foods Markets.

With 700 locations, they also made Hello Sensible’s list of the top 10 cheapest grocery stores, even though they tend to be more expensive than Walmart Supercenters due to a much smaller volume of items and overall less stock. Still, it’s something to keep in mind when shopping for groceries in these times of record-high inflation.

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Indeed, inflation data was worse than expected in June, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) increasing 9.1% for the 12 months ending June, a new four-decade high.

The increase was broad-based, and food was one of the largest contributors. The food index increased 1% last month, bringing the increase to 10.4% for the 12-months ending in June, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 1981, the BLS data shows. This is also higher than the overall inflation rate.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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