West Loop Welcomes Wal-Mart

I’ve been out of the country for a few weeks, but that hasn’t stopped devoted Chicago Architecture Blog readers from sending in tips.

Our West Loop spy sent along a photograph of the shiny new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (570 West Monroe Street), now open for business at Presidential Towers.

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Presidential Towers

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Presidential Towers

She tells us the store is heavy on “Mart” and very light on the “Wal,” meaning this place is almost entirely about food.  In fact, she estimates that the average Safeway Dominick’s grocery store carries more non-food items than this Neighborhood Market.

Of course what’s the Wal-Mart name without the low, low prices?  According to our spy, many items are, indeed, very cheap compared to the competition, which would be the Dominick’s at 1 North Halsted Street, the Jewel-Osco at 370 North Desplaines Street, and our personal favorite, Peapod.

Regularly-priced items tend to run sightly lower than the competition, but sometimes higher, so it’s worth doing comparison shopping.  But for items on sale, the sale prices are outrageously low, in her opinion.

Speaking of Peapod, “the little grocery delivery service that could” has some new competition.  On the way to the airport last month, I noticed a truck marked “MyGofer.”  It turns out, it’s a delivery operation run by Sears.   Because of that, it runs heavy on the “Wal” and light on the “Mart,” but it has two interesting advantages: Same day delivery of some items, and the option of picking up your loot at your neighborhood Sears or Kmart store.  

There used to be dozens of grocery delivery operations across the country before the last dot-com bust.  Maybe this increased competition is a sign that things are getting better.  For example, in addition to neighborhood markets offering delivery, Seattle now has five large-scale delivery providers: Safeway, Spud, and the trio of Amazon Fresh, Amazon Now, and Amazon Tote.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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