No. of Recommendations: 3
Its new Supercenter in Plano, Tex., is a laboratory for the retailing giant's attempts to lure higher-income customers

There are only two companies that Wal-Mart concerns themselves with; Target and Costco. Costco is obvious as they generate something over 4 or 5 times the dollar volume per store as Sam's Club and a higher end of customers.

Target is only somewhat obvious. Target is about 1/10th the size, but it is not its size or its rate of growth. It is the fact that women express that they like going to shop at Target and they don't like going to shop at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart understands that this is a weak point in their marketing, but it may also be a certain amount of envy that a store that uses a similar physical presentation of the product is perceive so differently.

I guess that this is their first try at changing their image. It may not be a bad thing, but, then again, is Wal-Mart doing the right thing trying to change their image?

Note that I own some Wal-Mart shares, but I bought on the basis that Wal-Mart would eventually find a new market to get into that will increase growth, not try to change their image. This is actually a sign (though a small one) of weakness on the part of Wal-Mart. It may be that they feel they can't get any more domestic grwoth through other business ventures and have to "fix" what they already have to generate new sales. I can't remember too many companies that have successfully changed their image, at least in the retail market.

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