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PHOENIX -- Wal-Mart unveiled a possible logo for its smaller-format "Marketside" stores, when it was recently published on the Web site of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Financial Times reported.
The logo includes the word "marketplace" in lower-case green lettering, and to the left, three stylized fresh produce items are stacked vertically. The banner is the first new store logo to be used by Wal-Mart in the U.S. in two decades, according to the report.
The Marketside stores, a pilot grocery store format that is expected to open in four locations in the Phoenix area this summer, are expected to have approximately 15,000 square feet of selling space, according to planning documents cited by the Financial Times. The new format is less than half the size of Wal-Mart’s current smallest format -- the 30,000-square-foot Neighborhood Market supermarkets, of which there are currently 130 located in the U.S., the report stated.
Wal-Mart secured leases on four plots southeast of Phoenix, some only a mile from Tesco's 10,000-square-foot Fresh & Easy locations, according to a separate Financial Times report published in mid-January.
The four locations are street-corner properties formerly occupied by drug stores. The company also applied for wine and beer licenses for stores in Gilbert, Tempe and Mesa, Ariz., and has additional leases in Chandler, Ariz., the report stated.
Wal-Mart has played down the significance of the Marketside format, arguing that the stores represent another variation on its Neighborhood Market format, according to the report.
In related news, a report from India's Business Standard details the back office strategy for Tesco's Fresh & Easy format, which allows it to keep costs low while battling Wal-Mart.
Tesco's Hindustan Service Center in India has played a major role in its U.S. venture, according to the report.
"There, for the first time, Tesco has deployed an operating model which has been planned, installed and is being supported out of India," Meena Ganesh, CEO of Tesco Hindustan, told the Business Standard.
The model integrates finance, payroll and personnel functions, all of which are supported by its information technology layer, the report stated. The integrated processes are being standardized, which will minimize manual work, according to the report.
Once the model has been debugged, the company plans to install the services in Turkey and other countries in which it operates, the Business Standard reported.