Walmart believes its big stores and parking lots have the potential to be more than where you go to stock up.
The retail giant is beginning to reimagine its properties as Walmart Town Centers, featuring outdoor spaces, entertainment, local food vendors and health and fitness services.
Some of what Walmart wants to do is similar to what mall owners are doing to redevelop tired enclosed shopping centers built in the 1970s and ’80s. Discounters like Walmart and Target siphoned shoppers from the malls and department stores back then. Now, Walmart may have an advantage over malls in trying to become more interesting destinations: Its stores already have the customer traffic.