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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Does this graphic really surprise anyone?

[Comparison of Manhattan and Walmart built areas (slightly modified) | image source]

The above is from Jesse LeCavalier's essay "All Those Numbers" at Places: Design Observer. In it, the architect investigates "the design possibilities latent not only in Walmart’s building types but also in the organizational practices — especially its unparalleled expertise in logistics." LeCavalier's essay is recommended for clearly explaining how Walmart works, its number-centric approach that makes it so BIG but also so fiercely loathed by supporters of the local, especially in cities. This last frontier, the urban market, is partly the focus of LeCavalier's piece. And while I can't say I agree with an investigation of how the retailer can be successful in cities, the power, influence and willfulness of Walmart is certainly something to be considered, not ignored.


  1. Once again, thanks for a fascinating post and wonderful example of graphic presentation.
    A more realistic comparison, however, of Wal-Mart to Manhattan, would include the area encompassed by the parking lots, in addition to the actual buildings containing the stores. This would result in a total store and parking area footprint about four to five times the size of the store footprint alone. I posted a rough approximation at .

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