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Time magazine has a piece this week about Walmart’s Project Impact initiative, which it defines as having three objectives: “One goal of Project Impact is cleaner, less cluttered stores that will improve the shopping experience. Another is friendlier customer service. A third: home in on categories where the competition can be killed.”

And here’s how the always-reliable and perceptive Burt Flickinger III, managing director for Strategic Resources Group, assesses the company’s results so far: "They've got Kmart ready to take a standing eight-count next year. Same with Rite Aid. They've knocked out four of the top five toy retailers, and are now going after the last one standing, Toys "R" Us. Project Impact will be the catalyst to wipe out a second round of national and regional retailers."

“It's clear that, under Project Impact, Walmart will make major plays in winnable categories,” Time writes. “The pharmacy, for example, has been pulled into the middle of the store, and its $4-prescriptions program has generated healthy buzz. With Circuit City out of business, the electronics section has been beefed up. Walmart is also expanding its presence in crafts. Sales at Michael's Stores, the country's largest specialty arts-and-crafts retailers, have sagged, and Walmart sees an opportunity. Stores are chock-full of scrapbooking material, baskets and yarns. "Look, they're selling the stuff that accounts for 80% of Michael's business, at 20% of the space," says Flickinger. "It's very hard for any company to compete with that."
KC's View:
This isn’t new news, but it is noteworthy that magazines like Time are covering it – spreading the word to more Americans about Walmart’s “save more, live better” gospel. Which doesn’t do a hell of lot for the competition, either.