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Walmart vs. Weis March 21, 2007

Posted by Janine in Consumers, Organizational Environment, Retail.
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As many of you now know, the new Walmart supercenter has opened. While I have not yet gone there to check it out, I have heard a lot about it. Many that I have talked to do not seem to be that impressed with its layout, while some are marveling at its wide and cheap selection. You can literally go there for just about anything, from food, to clothes, to electronics. It is one-stop shopping at its finest.

This got me thinking: what is the Walmart’s opening going to do for other local businesses? Weis markets will be taking a huge loss with the giant’s cheaper food and beverage selection. Also, with the new garden center, places like Loews and small, privately-owned businesses are sure to feel the effects of Walmart’s persuasive low prices.

Some I have talked to have said that they are going to remain loyal to the businesses such as Weis. Those people have told me that they just “don’t feel right buying produce and fruits from a store like Walmart.” I see their point. Will quality be jeopardized for the sake of low costs?

Now, I have never really been to a Walmart superstore, but I can imagine the satisfaction one can get knowing that they only have to stop one place to get their groceries and misc items. But, what about the others. This means that businesses like Weis, Ards, Giant, etc. will have to reorganize, regroup, and devise ways to react to this environmental change. The environment surrounding these businesses has changed, and I am very curious to see how each one of them responds.

I have heard talk that Weis owns the lot that the old Walmart was on, and the company plans to expand the current Weis. That could be in the future. I think the smart way for a place like Weis to react to this opening is for them to go above and beyond their competitor; they should open a more extensive organic and health food section, bring in other services, such as a drycleaners. The possibilities are there, so in the next few months or years, I look forward to seeing what develops.

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Comments»

1. Stacey Swift - March 21, 2007

I went to the new supercenter on Monday. It is so big that I got lost and was late to my meeting. Anyhow, it is absurd. The supercenter is complete with not only the standard grocery, garden center, and typical walmart, it also has a nail salon, tanning salon (i have been told), and optical center. I do not think this massive store is good for the local economy. People are going to be able to get their entire day’s worth of errands done in one stop. Personally I do not want to get my nails done at Walmart, but for busy parents this may be the best option. I love the small town of Lewisbury because of its small local stores, but I would not be surprised if Walmart put them out of business.

2. Elaine - March 21, 2007

Walmart has enough power to do almost anything it wishes to do. We as consumers are partially responsible. If we do not use their services such as the optical center and nail salon, perhaps they’ll reconsider their structure. The more we use them for their convenience, the more willing Walmart will be to take over other industries.

3. Meg - March 21, 2007

Weis Markets needs to ensure that they can differentiate themselves from Walmart’s supermarket. Walmart has taken advantage of the organic craze not only because of consumer demand but also because the cost to do so is continuously decreasing. If Walmart can sell groceries for a cheaper price, which knowing Walmart, I’m sure they can, Weis will experience difficulty competing. Does anyone know what store, if any will be opening in the former Walmart’s lot?

4. Jordi - March 22, 2007

This WalMart is the third biggest in PA. Why do they need one so big here? How big of a radius are they planning to draw from? Do you think Lewisburg is anywhere close to the third largest metro area in PA (Snicker, sincker)? Philly, pitt, Lehigh Valley, H-Burg, Lancaster, York, Erie, Wilkes-barre, Scranton, State College, Williamsport and so on. Lewisburg is probably 100th.

5. Abby - March 24, 2007

I visited the super walmart yesterday – its HUGE! The amount of choice they give you in all their products is amazing, I honestly think I spent more than 5 minutes just picking the right shampoo… and they had almost an entire aisle, shelves on both sides, devoted to just cereal.
Super-Walmart doesn’t just have what we ‘need’ anymore. Now, there is a huge assortment of gardening decor, and half an aisle for tupperware!!

While walking through, we noticed that there are benches scattered through the store. That’s how big it is! People need to sit down while shopping!! There are also huge signs to direct people to different departments, because you can’t see everything with a simple 360* turn, as we did at regular Walmart.

6. Lady - March 27, 2007

I am from Harrisburg so I’m used to the SuperWalmart. It is convenient in it’s huge selection of products but it hasn’t yet stopped me from shopping at Weis or Giant. This is simply because I prefer to buy my food from a grocercy store who specializes in selling food products and the grocery store is closer to my house. However, I think the threat of this SuperWalmart is much different than its threat in Harrisburg. I think location plays a huge role in how much of an advantage this SuperWalmart in Lewisburg has. In Harrisburg, you have to drive way out towards Hershey to get to the SuperWalmart. Therefore, it’s a smart move in regards to gas to just go to the local grocery store, or nail salon for those consumer needs. However, this Lewisburg location of the SuperWalmart has the advantage because Lewisburg is so small. I must admit, the fact that Weis and Walmart are now down the street from each other may tempt me to buy some groceries or my stack of gatorade from there every once in a while.

7. Brian Mulligan - April 1, 2007

I heard a rumor that Wal-Mart broke an agreement with Weis to not build a Super WalMart with a grocery store. I guess that WalMart is so dominant that it can go above the rules and break agreements.

I think that I will still shop at Weis because they specialize in food stuffs, but I think that Weis should try to appeal more to the shopper looking for the best quality food and are willing to spend a little bit more money like a Wegmans. They have a great quality food and are a little more pricey. I agree with everybody that they should diversify their product and try to work off the health craze with organic and healthier opitions.


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