Walmart Neighborhood Markets coming?

Talk grows of stores moving into vacant Food Lion locations

Published On: Jun 19 2012 02:46:43 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 20 2012 07:56:25 AM EDT

Walmart is all about the savings. Even in its advertisements, it compares its prices with its competition.

Shoppers could be seeing a lot more savings from Walmart if the company brings its Neighborhood Markets to the Jacksonville area. They would be smaller versions of Walmart Supercenters, would carry only grocery store items, and would be located in vacant Food Lion stores.

Channel 4 news partner the Financial News and Daily Record, confirmed the potential shopping centers would be Merrill Station in Arlington and Crossroads in Mandarin.

When asked about the possibility of the Neighborhood Markets opening in Jacksonville, Walmart spokesman Bill Wertz said, "While we don't have any new stores to announce in the Jacksonville area, we know folks are shopping and working at our existing stores, and we're always looking for ways to give northeast Florida residents new options for jobs and affordable food."

Walmart is not the only grocer possibly expanding in vacant Food Lion stores. Rob Rowe, owner of Rowe's Supermarkets, recently opened his third supermarket on Dunn Avenue on the Northside. It was previously a Food Lion.

Rowe told the Daily Record he will be opening another store in Orange Park some time this summer, also at a vacant Food Lion store.

Whether Food Lion, Walmart or Rowe's, many shoppers say they'll shop at any of them, saying these stores are very similar and all offer what they're looking for.

"They have good quality, good prices, nice, friendly people working for them," shopper Stephanie Lawings said.

For other shoppers, it's not just about getting a good price.

"The quality of the product," shopper Petronia Brown said. "I don't want something just because it's cheap, and then I get home and it's cheap."