What Is Walmart Neighborhood Market? An In-Depth Look - 33rd Square (2024)

Walmart Neighborhood Market is a smaller, grocery-focused version of the iconic Walmart Supercenter. First opened in 1998, these mini Walmarts offer shoppers a quick, convenient way to grab food, medicine, and everyday essentials without navigating an enormous store.

With just under 1,000 locations today, Neighborhood Markets are central to Walmart‘s growth strategy in the fiercely competitive grocery space. They provide a neighborhood feel tailored for busy urban areas.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what makes Neighborhood Markets different:

  • What products you can (and can‘t) buy there
  • How prices and offerings compare to full Supercenters
  • Key locations, hours, services, and more details

Whether you‘re a longtime Walmart shopper or have never stepped foot in one, read on to learn if Neighborhood Markets can save you time and money on your regular grocery haul!

Product Selection: A Scaled-Down Walmart Experience

The key advantage of Neighborhood Markets is convenience – with just 38,000 square feet of space on average, they offer a curated selection focused on food, pharmacy, and essentials. You can get in and out fast without navigating a 185,000 square foot Supercenter.

Here’s an overview of what you will and won’t find:

Grocery: All Your Fresh Food Essentials

Just like your traditional supermarket, Neighborhood Markets feature:

  • Fresh produce section stocked with fruits, vegetables, and more
  • Butcher counter with a variety of fresh meat cuts
  • Bakery with fresh breads and desserts
  • Deli offering rotisserie chicken, cold cuts, cheeses, and prepared salads
  • Dairy case full of milk, eggs, yogurt, butter
  • Freezers and aisles packed with packaged foods, frozen meals, snacks, cereal, canned goods – you name it

The grocery selection rivals most standard supermarkets, providing everything you need for homemade meals and basic staples.

Pharmacy: Prescriptions, OTC medications, and health services

Every Neighborhood Market houses a full pharmacy offering prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs.

You can also receive vaccines, various health screenings, and even basic lab tests at Neighborhood Market pharmacies – making them a one-stop shop for food and healthcare essentials.

Everyday basics: Household and personal care necessities

Of course, no trip to Walmart would be complete without picking up household items, health and beauty products, and other quick essentials. Neighborhood Markets have you covered with aisles stocked with:

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Paper goods
  • Personal care and hygiene items
  • Baby care products
  • Pet supplies
  • Small home goods and office supplies
  • Seasonal items like summer picnic supplies or back-to-school needs

Checkouts also carry convenience items like prepaid cards, cigarettes, stamps, and gift cards. The selection provides all the household basics you expect from Walmart, without the overwhelming superstore experience.

What You Won‘t Find at Neighborhood Markets

The tradeoff for convenience is less selection. Neighborhood Markets do not offer:

  • Electronics, video games, movies
  • Toys and sporting goods
  • Furniture and home decor
  • Appliances and home improvement tools
  • Clothing, shoes, and accessories
  • Auto maintenance supplies

Basically if it‘s not food, pharmacy, or an everyday essential like shampoo, you likely won‘t find it at the Neighborhood Market.

The smaller footprint simply doesn‘t accommodate Walmart‘s vast general merchandise offerings. For any non-grocery items, you‘ll need to visit the Supercenter.

Pricing: Are Neighborhood Markets More Expensive Than Walmart Supercenters?

When it comes to value, Walmart built its reputation on rock-bottom prices. But does the Neighborhood Market format live up to these expectations?

The short answer: prices are often slightly higher than Supercenters, but still competitive with other grocers. Here‘s why:

Lower overall sales volume drives prices up

Supercenters simply move vastly more product – the highest selling location tops $100 million in annual sales! This allows Walmart to demand rock-bottom prices from suppliers.

Neighborhood Markets move far less inventory overall, so Walmart lacks the same pricing leverage with vendors.

Less competition in urban locales

Many Neighborhood Market locations are placed in urban areas without another nearby Walmart Supercenter. This reduces pressure to keep prices as aggressively low as stores situated near a competitor.

Higher real estate and operating costs

Urban real estate and labor costs run higher than suburban areas where most Supercenters are located. Walmart offsets these higher overhead expenses by passing some costs to consumers through increased prices.

However, Neighborhood Markets often still undercut traditional urban grocers like Safeway and Kroger. Walmart‘s massive supply chain scale keeps costs lower than standalone chains.

Here‘s a peek at how prices stack up on some typical grocery items:

ItemNeighborhood Market PriceSupercenter Price
Gallon of milk$3.28$2.98
Loaf of bread$2.15$1.90
Dozen eggs$2.99$2.79
Bananas (per lb)$0.48$0.42

As you can see, prices run around 5-15% higher at Neighborhood Markets on key staples. Not a huge markup, but noticeable for budget-conscious shoppers buying in bulk.

Locations: Putting Neighborhood Markets Where Supercenters Can‘t Go

Neighborhood Markets serve a key strategic role by bringing Walmart into urban areas where massive superstores just don‘t fit.

The average Neighborhood Market spans just 38,000 square feet. For comparison, a Supercenter averages a giant 182,000 square feet!

This smaller footprint makes Neighborhood Markets a good fit for busy downtowns and cities where large retail spaces are hard to come by.

Currently, you‘ll find the most Neighborhood Market locations in:

  • Florida – 117 stores
  • Texas – 111 stores
  • North Carolina – 76 stores
  • Georgia – 58 stores
  • Arkansas – 44 stores

Walmart continues aggressively expanding the concept, with plans to open another 800 Neighborhood Markets in coming years according to its 2021 annual report.

Many new locations aim to put a Walmart within just a few miles of more urban shoppers, making grocery runs more quick and convenient.

Hours of Operation: Opening and Closing Times

Neighborhood Market hours run:

  • Monday – Sunday: 6 AM – 11 PM

So they stay open a bit later than many traditional grocers, but close earlier than 24 hour Supercenters.

Store hours can vary by location though, so always check your local Neighborhood Market hours online before visiting.

Services: Grocery Pickup and Other Conveniences

Neighborhood Markets aim to save busy shoppers even more time through services like:

  • Online grocery pickup: Order groceries on the Walmart website or app, then conveniently pick them up without leaving your car. Nearly 200 Neighborhood Markets offer this.
  • Pharmacy drive-thru: Grab prescriptions on the go from the pharmacy drive-up window.
  • UPS access point: Ship and receive UPS packages while you shop.
  • Check cashing: Turn your paycheck into cash without visiting the bank.
  • MoneyGram: Send and receive money transfers.

Between grocery pickup, drive-thru pharmacies, and bill pay services, Neighborhood Markets become a true one-stop-shop for urbanites short on time.

Eco-Friendly Features: Are Neighborhood Markets Greener Than Supercenters?

Walmart as a whole gets criticized for its large stores‘ giant carbon footprints. But Neighborhood Markets edge out their superstore siblings in some eco-friendly features:

  • LEED certification: Over 130 Neighborhood Markets have earned LEED green building certification. Supercenters have no LEED locations.
  • Solar panels: Some Neighborhood Markets use solar power. Again, it‘s rare among Supercenters.
  • Electric vehicle charging: Many Neighborhood Markets offer free EV charging stations for customers.
  • Bike racks & parking: Neighborhood Markets encourage biking to the store with bike racks and preferred parking.

The smaller footprint combined with eco-friendly touches makes Neighborhood Markets a greener choice than Supercenters for urban shoppers.

The Pros of Walmart Neighborhood Markets

Neighborhood Markets offer perks beyond saving time and money. Here are some of the biggest benefits shoppers highlight:

More convenience. With so many locations, busy shoppers appreciate having a Walmart nearby rather than driving to a distant superstore.

Quick in-and-out trips. You won‘t get lost in a 185,000 square foot store or tempted by impulse buys in electronics.

Cleaner, less crowded feel. Neighborhood Markets maintain a more relaxing grocery store atmosphere.

Pharmacy fills a need. Having a full pharmacy on-site is a major perk, especially in pharmacy deserts.

Urban locations. Neighborhood Markets fill a void for affordable groceries in cities without other Walmart Supercenters nearby.

Good for small shops. You can get in and out with just a bag or two of essentials. No need to stock up on a huge haul.

Gas too. Many have gas stations attached, so you can conveniently fill up after shopping.

Fresh food focus. Produce, meat, bakery, and dairy selections cater well to regular grocery trips.

For urban shoppers wanting grab-and-go convenience, it‘s easy to see why Neighborhood Markets have gained popularity as they continue expanding across the country.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

However, Neighborhood Markets aren‘t perfect. Here are a few downsides to weigh:

Higher prices. Especially for shoppers buying in bulk, the higher prices can add up quickly.

Inconsistent stock. Shelves can run empty quicker than well-stocked Supercenters.

Fewer checkout lanes. Longer waits are possible during peak hours with fewer registers open.

No specialty departments. No deli counter with made-to-order sandwiches or on-site bakery like standalone grocers.

Limited selection overall. Produce and meat options may pale compared to market-style stores.

Can still seem crowded. Urban locations in small spaces can still feel packed and stressful to shop.

Parking challenges. Finding parking can prove difficult, especially for quick convenience trips.

Trendy options lacking. Unlike upscale chains like Whole Foods, you won‘t find extensive organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, etc. selections.

While Neighborhood Markets solve the convenience issue, some shoppers may prefer a standalone grocer or food co-op for better quality and selection.

The Bottom Line: Who Should Shop at Walmart Neighborhood Markets?

Neighborhood Markets work best for urban shoppers who:

  • Want groceries, medicines, gas, and basics without a long drive
  • Prefer a quicker in-and-out shopping experience
  • Don‘t need specialty departments like high-end butcher counters
  • Appreciate extra services like pharmacy drive-thrus and check cashing
  • Are price-conscious and value one-stop shopping convenience

Alternatives may be better for shoppers who:

  • Demand premium quality fruits, vegetables, and fresh meat
  • Want expanded organic, gluten-free, non-GMO food selections
  • Depend on specialty store services like made-to-order sandwiches
  • Buy in bulk and need consistently low prices on large hauls
  • Prefer a niche grocer tailored to health trends and specialty diets

Walmart Neighborhood Markets can save time and money for urban shoppers wanting everyday essentials. But niche grocers still edge them out for some specialty needs. Understanding the tradeoffs helps shoppers select the best fit market for their lifestyle.

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