The editorial ["Markets More Immune to Saturation Than Is Expected," SN, Oct. 18, 2004, Page 12] prompts some interesting questions:
d markets, such as Oklahoma City? Or are they for longer-term use for entry into the urbanized Northeast? Or will they become a place to put a large number of stores to be acquired from failed supermarket chains?
Do Wal-Mart's currently weak comparable-store sales, as compared to those of Target Stores, reflect the short-term effects of supercenter cannibalization? This question is especially relevant in view of what should be strong gains from maturing supercenters by now.
Finally, the effect of saturation, or its lack, always depends on retail execution. Should Wal-Mart's execution weaken, its current strategy of locating its stores in close proximity will come back to haunt it, as has been the case for many other retailers in the past.