Wal-Mart And “Community Friendly Design”

From NorthWestArkansasNews.com, a story on the "new" look of Wal*Mart:
From now on, in communities across the country, Wal-Mart’s newest stores won’t come standard issue. "We don’t want them all to look the same," said Keith Morris, the retailer’s director of community affairs for Colorado... For years, Wal-Mart used its building prototypes to save money by reaping the savings of mass production. But as the discounter attempts to move into new markets, the durable model has lost its luster. "These local communities have been absolutely opposed to (Wal-Mart) for many reasons — not the least of which is they build these big ugly boxes," said George Whalin of Retail Management Consultants of San Marcos, Calif... In Lakewood, [Colorado’s] case, officials wanted Wal-Mart’s muscle to help it revitalize historic but down-at-the-heels West Colfax Avenue, yet they also wanted the store to fit in with a retro 1950s look they wish to establish in the area...
So I'm starting to see why Wal*Mart's stocks are taking an ill. They're incurring more costs to do SuperCenters in areas they're not already in. What I'd like to note here, is that it was the officals of Lakewood, Colorado that approached Wal*Mart with a plan, NOT A DEVELOPER. In Lakewood's case, the retro 1950's look makes sense given it's 28% 50+ population. Not to mention, it doesn't appear they're try to create a lifestyle center like Crocker Park and Legacy Village. They've got one 8 miles away. Does Greater Cleveland really need a third lifestyle center? My other question is - who the heck is a faux steelyard going to appeal to? Which demographic are we trying to attract? Unemployed steelworkers? Former machinists who's jobs are elsewhere? Can't we come up with a better marketing plan? Via The Box Tank

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