Walmart Must be Authentic in Portland Push

Walmart is pushing to enter new markets in a big way. Recently reported is their planned push to open up additional stores in the Portland, OR market. The Morning News Beat has a good article about Walmart's plans.

Another giant discount chain has seen huge success in Portland, Aldi owned Trader Joe's. Many of the most vocal anti-Walmart Portland shoppers would be shocked to know that Trader Joe's is actually a very successful rebranding of the typical Aldi store format. To Aldi's credit they have kept Trader Joe's brand unique and consistent at many levels. The decor, dress code, product selection, and price point, is all very relaxed. It speaks well to the Portland community (it's difficult to find an empty parking spot at any Trader Joe's in Oregon).

For Walmart to succeed in this same market, they must do more than just roll out a small format store with chalkboard signs, and nicely packaged product. They must also have a congruent plan for product selection, marketing/advertising, and hiring/training staff.

Shoppers can sniff out a fake, and with Trader Joe's, nobody cares that Aldi owns them because they are authentically different than Aldi's other formats. At every level. Walmart needs to do the same to reach the most vocal Portland shoppers.