WalMart Goes Upscale

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In a move that every retailer seems to try eventually, WalMart is trying to be more upscale.

The world's largest retailer opens a first-of-its-kind "laboratory" store Wednesday in this city, with the purpose of studying how to entice shoppers to consider Wal-Mart for more than everyday essentials. A more upscale Wal-Mart with a specialty-store attitude, it carries premium products and services not found at a typical Supercenter.

Is this a good move? No. It sounds good because WalMart is thinking 'higher margins, bigger spenders, etc.' but they are forgetting that people equate WalMart with cheap.

Laura Ries has an analysis and thinks WalMart would be better off splitting this into a new brand. Check out the Q&A section at the bottom of her post.