Our grandparents never could have imagined it: one store, with everything and anything you could possibly need, whether it’s a gallon of milk, workout shorts, or a stapler.
That’s how Sam’s Walton’s vision has changed all of our lives – many of us feel inconvenienced now when we can’t get all those things in one place!
If you can do all that – and more – you very likely shop at a Walmart Supercenter, not just a regular Walmart Discount Store.
Didn’t realize there were different types of Walmart stores? You’re not alone. Let’s examine what is a Walmart Supercenter!
What Is A Walmart Supercenter In 2023?
Walmart Supercenters are larger than their original counterparts, averaging about 182,000 square feet and employing roughly 300 associates each. Supercenters combine traditional Walmart department store goods with a full selection of groceries, and in some cases include services like auto maintenance, salons, restaurants, and even vision needs. Supercenters are generally open 24 hours, too.
Still wondering how a Walmart Discount and a Walmart Supercenter stack up side-by-side? When Walmart started building Supercenters?
And whether Walmart operates any other kind of special concept stores? Keep reading!
What Is The Difference Between A Walmart And A Walmart Supercenter?
There are quite a few differences between an original-style Walmart, now called Walmart Discount stores, and the Walmart Supercenter.
Let’s break them down
Walmart Discounts may range between 30,000 and 221,000 square feet, but on average they top out around 106,000 square feet.
Walmart Supercenters tend to be much larger, anywhere from 69,000 to 260,000 square feet, but the average is about 182,000 square feet.
To confuse matters, some Walmart Discount stores do carry groceries, but the selection is limited, and you won’t see all the food products as in a Supercenter.
Supercenters operate in their wing of the store as a full-service grocery store, intended to provide shoppers with an enormous selection and one-stop shopping.
Grocery items you will find in a Walmart Supercenter include a deli, with hot prepared foods, a full bakery with fresh-baked goods every day, and fresh produce.
Supercenters also carry a full meat and seafood department, a full frozen section, and a comprehensive dairy selection.
Again, there is some crossover in services offered between a Walmart Discount and a Walmart Supercenter.
These can include a tire and lube maintenance center and one-hour photo processing.
Both may also contain in-store restaurants, like McDonald’s or Subway.
And it’s likely that whether you have a Walmart Discount or a Supercenter, you have access to Walmart’s quick and easy pharmacy.
However, Supercenters also have the space to accommodate full optical centers (which I have used in the past – and it was a good experience!).
Supercenters may also have expanded garden centers, with a full complement of outdoors and gardening items.
In this expanded selection, Supercenters are crossing over into the kind of goods and selection you might find at the Home Depot garden center.
Another area where you can expect to see expanded selection in a Supercenter is their pet goods.
Actually, in Supercenters you might even have a full fish department, where you can purchase both fish and the accessories needed to keep them.
Finally, Supercenters have the space for hair and nail salons, as well. My Supercenter did, at least for a while, and the salons also sold higher-end hair products.
Another main difference between Walmart Discounts and the Supercenters is the hours of operation.
As I mentioned, Supercenters tend to be open 24 hours (minus holidays), whereas Walmart Discounts operate on more traditional hours, like 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. or midnight.
Walmart has been slowly phasing out 24-hour operations in some of their Supercenters, however, so don’t be surprised if you see this less and less.
When Did Walmart Become A Supercenter?
Walmart opened its first Supercenter all the way back in the 1980s – 1988, to be exact.
This auspicious day occurred in Washington, Missouri, and was the first of its kind to combine the traditional department store-type merchandise with a full-service grocery store.
Since 1988, Walmart has opened more than 3,500 other Supercenters around the country.
Supercenters, despite constituting only about a fourth of Walmart’s stores, make up over 75 percent of their sales.
What Is The Largest Walmart?
Naturally, the largest Walmart in existence currently is a Superstore!
It is located in Albany, New York (the state capital) in the Crossgates Commons shopping plaza.
At 260,000 square feet, it’s almost 80,000 square feet bigger than the average Supercenter, and it covers two floors.
The Crossgate Commons Walmart actually didn’t start out as a Supercenter when it opened in 1994, but it became one after renovations in 2008.
What Are The Different Types Of Walmart Stores?
Did you know that aside from original Walmart stores and Supercenters, there are four other types of Walmarts?
That’s right. There is also Neighborhood Market, Walmart Express, Walmart Pharmacy, and Walmart Pickup.
What Is The Difference Between A Walmart Supercenter And A Walmart Neighborhood Market?
You might be wondering about the Walmart Neighborhood Market and how that compares to a Supercenter.
While a Supercenter combines general merchandise with a full-service grocery store, Neighborhood Markets consist solely of grocery items.
Neighborhood Markets are much smaller – they average about 38,000 square feet – and they are a great option quicker, grocery-only shopping trips.
Neighborhood Markets have the bakery, the fresh meat and seafood, the deli and prepared foods, etc., as well as household supplies and a pharmacy.
But they’re a convenient alternative for quick in-and-out shopping or for those of us (presented company included) who have an issue with impulse-buying in Supercenters.
I personally think the Neighborhood Markets are a response to stores like Aldi or Whole Foods.
Walmart Supercenters are sprawling 182,000 sq. ft. shopping centers which sell general merchandise on one side and full-service grocery items on the other.
They may include such features as a tire and auto center, optical services, hair and nail salon, banking and even fast-food restaurants.
Supercenters are rapidly replacing Discount stores as the norm, and it’s no wonder – the convenience, plus the always-low Walmart prices, can’t be understated.