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Walmart VP Mum On Decatur Store, Bullish On Atlanta Expansion

Greg Sullivan, a vice president for the Southeast, said the international retailer is definitely looking to expand in Atlanta with smaller stores. Whether that includes Decatur remains to be seen.

He wouldn't say anything about a new store in Decatur, but a Walmart vice president said last week the international corporation has plans to grow in the Atlanta metro area.

Sullivan told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that Walmart is looking to open several smaller format stores inside the Perimeter like its new Westside Village store that opened recently. Rather than the 208,000-square foot Walmart Supercenter in Roswell, the Westside Village store is less than 80,000 square feet, the paper reported.

Other new options for the Atlanta area include a Walmart Neighborhood Markets–grocery stores that average about 40,000 square feet–or Walmart Express location, 15,000-square foot convenience stores. Walmart wouldn't likely build a new Supercenter within a mile of another one, however.

Regardless, Walmart believes urban areas are the best opportunity for growth.

From the story:

In more mature markets, Walmart will likely focus its growth with smaller stores that allow them to enter urban markets "because it eases the barriers of entry," said Janet Shim, a retail analyst for IBISWorld, a consumer research firm. "It's not easy for companies, even Walmart, to obtain land and parking space for urban and mature markets."

And in a mature market, Walmart risks cannibalizing stores with more Supercenters, she said.

The nearest Supercenter is on Memorial Drive south of Decatur, about five miles from Suburban Plaza in North Decatur – the location that's been under discussion for several weeks. Walmart also has a store–not a Supercenter–on Lawrenceville Highway in Tucker about seven miles away.

Public discussion about a new Walmart in Suburban Plaza has not included specifics. But Selig Enterprises, a develop pursuing the new store, has . Rader came away from the meeting with the impression that Selig's Walmart would require significant reconstruction, including underground parking. Selig was also reportedly interested in acquiring public financing assistance from the county – an agreement that would require a public process.

mherron111 July 29, 2011 at 02:27 AM
I hope Walmart decides not to build a store in Decatur. Every small business in the area will be gobbled up by this baracuda. I don't believe that it is in the best interest of Decatur to have a Walmart store. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3836296181471292925#
Alyssa Egger July 29, 2011 at 09:11 PM
oh my gosh - i agree with the statement above - no walmart!! please! i love the personal touch of the decatur businesses. i don't want them to lose revenue to the "baracuda."
Anne Hakooz August 07, 2011 at 09:53 PM
Just say no to Walmart! Besides...most of the items are made in china.

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