Walmart's Worst Nightmare? A Little Discount Grocery Chain Named WinCo

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BART AH YOU / THE MODESTO BEE--  EXTERIOR:  WinCo Foods store on plaza parkway (the old Costco building), Monday afternoon during opening day.
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A discount grocery chain is being called "Walmart's worst nightmare." WinCo, a Western grocery chain with about 100 stores, has a business model that allows for cheaper prices than Walmart (WMT), writes Brad Tuttle at Time.

WinCo keeps costs low by buying directly from suppliers and eliminating middlemen, according to Tuttle. It also doesn't accept credit cards and has customers bag their own groceries.

A recent Idaho Statesman article about WinCo quoted retail analyst Burt Flickinger III as saying that WinCo was "unstoppable."

"They're Walmart's worst nightmare," Flickinger said.

Much like Costco, WinCo offers a minimalist selection instead of a wide array of brands according to Time.

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For instance, WinCo might only carry two brands of toothpaste, while Walmart has more than 40.
Unlike Walmart, whose employees have demanded better wages, the company provides health benefits to employees who work 24 hours per week and a pension.

WinCo is expanding fast, and could convert Walmart's customers, according to Time.

"Generally speaking, shoppers tolerate Walmart's empty shelves and subpar customer service because the prices are so good," Tuttle writes. "The fact that another retailer -- even a small regional one -- is able to compete and sometimes beat Walmart on prices, while also operating well-organized stores staffed by workers who enjoy their jobs, like their employer, and genuinely want the company to be successful. Well, that's got to alarm the world's biggest retailer, if not keep executives up at night."

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Walmart's Worst Nightmare? A Little Discount Grocery Chain Named WinCo

In fiscal year 2012, Walmart registered approximately $444 billion in sales, which is $20 billion more than Austria's GDP. If Walmart were a country, it would be the 26th largest economy in the world.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Andrew Bossi

Walmart has more employees worldwide — 2.2 million — than the population of Houston. The mega-retailer employs 1.4 million people in the U.S. alone.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

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If Walmart were an army, it would have the second largest military in the world, behind China.

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Walmart is bigger than Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Sears, Costco, and K-Mart combined.

Source: Seeking Alpha

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The average family of four spends over $4,000 a year at Walmart.

Source: Otherwords.org

Each week, Walmart serves more than 200 million customers at more than 10,400 stores in 27 countries.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

One of every four dollars Americans spend on groceries is spent at Walmart.

Source: Otherwords.org

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In 2010, CEO Michael Duke's annual salary of $35 million earned him more in an hour than a full-time employee makes in an entire year.

Source: ABC News

In 2009, Walmart sold more bananas than any other item.

Source: Bloomberg

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China's exports to Walmart accounted for 11 percent of the growth of the total U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2006.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

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If Walmart's more than 900 million square feet of retail space were spread out over one place it would take up roughly 34 square miles, which is about 1.5 times the size of Manhattan.

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Walmart parking lots alone take up an area roughly the size of Tampa, Florida.

Source: Walmart Watch

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In 2000, Walmart was sued 4,851 times, or about once every 2 hours.

Source: USA Today

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90 percent of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart.

Source: Business Pundit

The Walton family has given away about 2 percent of its net worth to charity — Bill Gates is giving away 48 percent of his net worth and Warren Buffet 78 percent of his net worth.

Source: Business Pundit

An additional Walmart Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI (body mass index) by 0.25 units and the obesity rate by 2.4 percent.

Source: SSRN

The most frequent destination typed into GPS device Telenav is Walmart.

Source: Wireless and Mobile News

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Roughly 4,700 (about 90 percent) of international stores operate under a banner other than Walmart, including Walmex in Mexico, Asda in the UK, Seiyu in Japan, and Best Price in India.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

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