BODEGA

Mega-stores and giant supermarkets are annoying. There’s no “running in” for a gallon of milk. The milk is all the way across the store, past sporting goods and the lake of fire – not exactly convenient.

But now, in order to accommodate the rush-in-rush-out shopper, big retailers are experimenting with smaller stores, especially to establish a presence in crowded areas, like cities, where space is at a premium.

Ha! Big cities already have great little supermarkets. They’re called bodegas. Bodegas are tiny corner stores that sell “incredibly old products”…sometimes other stuff too! Thanks Mr. Nice Guy.

Most surprising is Wal-Mart is, the mother of all mega-centers, is testing the waters with smaller stores. Actually, it’s not Wal-Mart as we know it in the states. Asda, a British supermarket company and a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, is switching up its business model to try out smaller stores. If Asda’s new design works, Wal-Marts in the United States may shrink down too.

Convenience and high cost of space is obviously a big reason why mega-stores might want to slim down, especially in a bad economy, but changing consumer tastes are another important factor – maybe the biggest factor.

As more people are drawn to “local food” movements and going green, the idea of shopping at eletricity draining giant mega-marts, which are often loaded with processed foods, is becoming less appealing. Maybe that’s why Wal-Mart is selling more organic cotton products and some supermarkets are doing away with plastic water bottles.

I hate-hate-hate giant stores, especially Wal-Mart. I feel like a lemming walking in there. If it weren’t for Wal-Mart’s low price tag for my crazy pills, I’d never set foot in one. I’m too worried about my picture being posted on the web.

Image credit: bondidwhat