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Wal-Mart Targets More Upscale Shoppers

MONROE, N.Y. - Executives at Wal-Mart are beginning to target more affluent shoppers looking for bargains, The New York Times reports.

The world's largest retailer opened almost 200 stores last year in well-off suburbs like Plano, Tex., and Alpharetta, Ga. The stores include supermarket-size grocery sections with gourmet desserts and pricier products, from big-screen televisions to digital cameras to more glamorous cookware. These stores could attract shoppers who favor retailers like Target, Costco and Kohl's, The Times notes.

At a Wal-Mart store in Monroe, N.Y., about an hour's drive north from New York, Jeep Grand Cherokees and Lexuses are lined up next to Saturns and Ford Broncos, The Times reports. Alongside the mainstream models in the TV section, there are 61-inch models made by RCA for $1,699.

A customer in the area told the Times she could use Wal-Mart to buy "everything you need for a summer house."

Analysts say Wal-Mart has had to move to more suburban, upscale places to continue growth, because it had run out of other places to build stores. Some wonder if Wal-Mart?s latest strategy could alienate its traditional shoppers.
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