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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:34 AM   #61
TalB
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Not too long ago, I saw the documentary This Land is my Land, which talked about how big box retail and corperations tend to be everywhere.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 04:11 AM   #62
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ANALYSIS-Small is good for Mexican Wal-Mart
24 February 2010

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is betting on a tiny supermarket format to spearhead expansion in Mexico, where it will also bolster its bank unit, but it isn't expected to aggressively grow in Central America.

Wal-Mart de Mexico, or Walmex, said last week its Bodega Aurrera Express stores -- located in densely populated urban areas with heavy foot traffic -- will account for two-thirds of store expansion this year, but executives are eager to tweak the format to attract even more clients.

"Walmex's 2010 investment plan reveals that the company has decided to fine tune its retail platform before it pursues faster growth," UBS analyst Gustavo Piras Oliveira said in a report.

The brainchild of recently appointed Walmex Chief Executive Scot Rank, the format combines the easy access of mom-and-pop corner stores with low prices that convenience outlets can't match. It was launched last year.

The company has said it will improve logistics, marketing and development of proprietary cheap brands to increase traffic to the stores.

"Management feels the format needs to be further improved for them to accelerate its sales floor expansion," said Scotia Capital in a report.

Soriana, Mexico's No. 2 supermarket chain, is betting heavily on its own new format, which is aimed at small towns and which analysts see as a response to Walmex's Bodega formats.

Soriana Express could account for about half of the 40 store openings planned by Soriana this year, Morgan Stanley said in a report.

Walmex, which also has restaurants and clothing stores, aims to open a total of 300 outlets in Mexico this year. It will invest 12.5 billion pesos in store and distribution center openings and use some money to remodel older units too.

BARE-BONES SERVICES

Walmex's bank, launched in 2008 and the first such operation for parent Wal-Mart Stores in the world, is another priority for the company this year after a slow start.

The bank did not expand at the rate it was expected to upon launch and the leadership of the unit has been reshuffled, bringing a savvy Citibank executive on board.

With a more visible marketing and brand awareness campaign in place, Walmex now expects to open at least 165 bank offices in 2010.

Rank told reporters last week that Banco Walmart, which offers bare-bones savings and withdrawal services at in-store branches and supermarket cashiers, plans to issue credit cards to customers in the first quarter.

CENTAM ON THE BACKBURNER

Walmex recently bought 519 stores in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica from its parent but it could take at least a year before growth in Central America takes off.

"Central America is a slow process, a digestive one," Wal-Mart's Latin America boss Eduardo Solorzano told Reuters this week. "Very probably, this will be a year of transition."

Wal-Mart may try to export another of its successful small store formats -- Mi Bodega Aurrera -- to Central America, Solorzano added.

This year, only 30 news stores will open in Central America but Walmex will start consolidating the regional results next month.

"This is an important challenge in the coming months," said IXE analyst Raquel Moscoso. "The region offers great potential and opens an opportunity for growth as there are no multi-format competitors in the area, giving Wal-Mart a very important competitive advantage."
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Old February 25th, 2010, 05:02 AM   #63
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Big box really has bad image in Germany. But then how well can you integrate something like an IKEA into urban context?

plans for urban Ikea in Hamburg:




Generally nice project. Just hope they get rid of this ugly colour and use a brick facade to fit into the surrounding area.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 05:17 AM   #64
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The directly surrounding area has almost no brick facades.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 05:28 AM   #65
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http://www.uwex.edu/ces/CCED/communi...antwalmart.jpg

A problem with big box stores, other than the usual criticisms, is what to do with the property after the original tenant leaves.

Not far from where I live, on a big avenue filled with strip malls, I notice many abandoned ones. The recession has taken it's toll even further, and now it's littered with these eye-sores all over with their moon landscape empty parking lots. Unlike urban buildings, it isn't as easy to change it's use. I know of one big building which used to be a department store which is now used as a "scary" place to go for around the days close to Halloween and is abandoned for the rest of the year.

I have heard of some of these big box buildings being used as churches or schools after their "original" use is expired.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 05:33 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiggerD21 View Post
The directly surrounding area has almost no brick facades.
Then any other facade that fits into the surrounding. That typical blue IKEA facade certainly doesn't.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 06:31 AM   #67
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Add a highrise on top of the big box, and it'll fit well with the urban landscape.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 02:45 AM   #68
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In Palos Verdes, they converted a former supermarket into a montessori school. The school had changed locations many times but now seems pleased with their facilities.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 08:22 PM   #69
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We have big-box stores EVERYWHERE in the Uk. They are killing the high street!
Some chains off the top of my head:

Furniture- SCS, CSL, Furniture Village, Tesco Homeplus, Harveys, Dreams, Homesense, Ikea, Instore, Stokers, Next Home, Alan Ward, Reid furniture
Carpets- Carpet World, Carpet Right, United Carpets, Dunelm Mill
DIY- B&Q, Wickes, Focus, Homebase
Electronics- Currys, Comet, Euronics, Maplin
Food- Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda

Others- Halfords(car parts/bikes), Pets at Home(pets), Mothercare(baby things), Outfit(clothes), Toys'r'us(toys), Magnet(kitchens), Pc World(computer things), the list goes on and on....
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Old March 1st, 2010, 05:01 PM   #70
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Any British examples of big box retail moving into traditional urban spaces?
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 04:54 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Any British examples of big box retail moving into traditional urban spaces?
There are Tesco Express stores...

I think it sucks that high streets all over the U.K. are dying... Suburban strip malls seem to be very popular nowadays, taking foot traffic away from city centers.

When I think of shopping in England, I think of an urban setting, not crappy strip malls like we have all over the U.S.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 12:21 PM   #72
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High Street/Main Street aren't dying only because of Big Boxes. Those big-boxes stores offer lower prices, that's why costumers flock there. They also offer free/cheap parking, while many urban planners ignore that Europeans DO USE cars far more than they would like to admit regardless of fancy trains/trams/pedestrian malls/traffic calming.

Going back in history, though, one could find that "mom and pop" stores were stuck in 19th Century when big boxes began to spread. They didn't open even on Saturday afternoons in many places. Many owners treated costumers not as costumers but as intruders, like they were doing a favor to allow someone to shop there. They didn't have variety. They didn't have self-service shelves. They didn't have minimum adequate lighting. In sum, they were poor lit, basement-like places where an not-so-friendly clerk would take the product you want from their shelf and give you. They resisted to catch up with the notion of shopping experience rather than merchandise supply in exchange for shopping.

In this sense, I'm glad these stores all but disappeared from the landscape. However, many small business owners still resist, specially in Europe, the idea that being a business owner is not like being an employee: long vacation closings, resistance and lobbying to forbid opening on Sundays or 24/7 schemes, inability to quickly adjust offer to recent trends, bad human resource management of employees etc.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:49 PM   #73
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We have some here in Stockholm mainly for electronics, food and furniture. But they just cant compare to a proper urban galleria. No normal person would buy clothes in a large shed in the suburbs.

I know this has killed some smaller cities in the north of sweden, and it is a problem. But I dont think the cities allow companies to build like that as much anymore now they have seen the results.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 03:30 PM   #74
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In Germany there are more and more inner city malls which also contain several big box chains. Especially electronic stores (Saturn, Media Markt) are common.

Example of a standalone Saturn in Hamburg. Similar things can be seen all over the country whether they are integrated in urban shopping malls or stand by itself within the urban environment. So you don't really need car to buy at big box stores. IMO, the problem is not big box itself but the location of big box stores.

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Old March 2nd, 2010, 03:33 PM   #75
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That Saturn in Hamburg claims to be the biggest electronics store in the world with its 18.000 sq m sales area.

Last edited by DiggerD21; March 2nd, 2010 at 03:39 PM.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:12 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Any British examples of big box retail moving into traditional urban spaces?
Not really I don't think. There are not many opportunities for huge stores in urban settings due to constricted space although IKEA has opened a store in coventry city centre I think. Big box formats themselves though are increasingly finding that they are losing out to internet shopping. The only reason that people go to big box retail is price so if they are undercut by internet then people won't go there. At least traditional town and city centres have other attractions and reasons for visiting and many smaller stores can themselves take advantage of e-commerce to widen their customer base.

Big box is a sensible format for some types of goods and its true that their arrival did give small stores a kick up the butt, but in many ways they are not a pleasant environment to shop in, I much prefer shopping in the centre of town than driving out to a bland retail park and many/most people here seem to agree with me as the town centre is thriving. a balance between the different formats should be the aim rather than one format wiping out all the others which would restrict choice and force lifestyles onto people who might not want to live like that

In places where people overwhelmingly choose the big boxes, their town centres will die but that is their choice.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:46 PM   #77
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Big box is a sensible format for some types of goods and its true that their arrival did give small stores a kick up the butt, but in many ways they are not a pleasant environment to shop in, I much prefer shopping in the centre of town than driving out to a bland retail park and many/most people here seem to agree with me as the town centre is thriving. a balance between the different formats should be the aim rather than one format wiping out all the others which would restrict choice and force lifestyles onto people who might not want to live like that

In places where people overwhelmingly choose the big boxes, their town centres will die but that is their choice.
This is contradictory. If people don't want to shop downtown, it is not the role of local governments to "promote" downtown at expense of strip malls outside dense areas (they are part of urban building stock too). If there is demand and proper legal framework, entrepreneurs will provide whatever people want: big boxes or local stores.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:53 PM   #78
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What about people who want to find stuff they can't find in Big Box stores? What about those who want more diversity than Big Box stores? What about those who want to start their own retail store? No offense, but you can't except the whole world to like you suburban American mindset.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 09:59 PM   #79
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What about people who want to find stuff they can't find in Big Box stores? What about those who want more diversity than Big Box stores? What about those who want to start their own retail store? No offense, but you can't except the whole world to like you suburban American mindset.
Sure, that's what competition is for. Provided the business regulations for downtown/central stores is appropriate and there is a sufficient costumer base willing to generate enough demand, someone will open neighborhood stores, and I totally support neighborhood stores that don't depend on protectionist legislation to survive and thrive.

I do not favor kicking smaller stores out of commercial district and I do not favor (indeed, I harshly oppose) restricting new Big Boxes popping everywhere. Let costumers, the ultimate spenders, decide where they are going to buy.

I oppose, however, cities trying to "direct" demand (e.g., costumers) to a form of shopping that bureaucrats think its preferable to others. For instance, artificial restrictions on the total amount of commercial floor space to "protect" minor business who don't stand a chance fighting big stores. On the other side, I don't support big boxes blackmailing nearby cities like "pay me or I'll build a store just beyond the city limits". Local treasuries are not supposed to pay for standard commercial development, be it in commercial districts or in the outskirts.

I'm strongly against the whole "tweaking" urban planned that has taken over much of the urban planning community indeed in the last 15/20 years indeed. Let the market forces determine what commercial arrangements will survive, thrive or slip to historic photos.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 10:55 PM   #80
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If communities have democratic input into the planning process and they decide for whatever reason that they want to restrict big box development, that is perfectly legitimate imo.

The idea that a retailer should have the absolute right to build whatever they want wherever they want as long as they can persuade the landowner to sell to them while local communities should have no say whatsoever in how their communities develop seems unattractive to me.
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