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A Wal-Mart executive reportedly said its Marketside format “is expected to start with 10 stores and evolve to between 1,000 to 1,500 stores with over $10 billion annual sales,” the Financial Times reported Friday. The statement was said to be contained in an advertisement on Wal-Mart’s Web site, which the chain subsequently pulled.
According to the Wal-Mart’s own Marketside Web site, Wal-Mart will open four of the stores this fall in the Phoenix area. A Wal-Mart spokesman said Marketside is a very small-scale pilot project, and that the company has no definite plans beyond that initial spurt of openings.
Wal-Mart has said it is developing the Marketside concept to attract shoppers wanting to purchase fresh groceries quickly. According to its Web site, Marketside “provides a quick and easy answer to ‘What’s for dinner tonight?” and will offer complete meal solutions. The concept is said to be a rival to British supermarket Tesco Plc’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in California, Arizona and Nevada.