While Target and Wal-Mart stores have expanded their services and added grocery sections in a number of its locations, their Portland stores have been an exception, until recently.

In March of this year, Target has opened grocery sections in its stores in Tanasbourne and Tigard, as well as started to expand its stores in Hillsboro, Happy Valley and Southeast Portland. The expansions are expected to be completed by July of this year. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart is also planning to add seventeen stores in Portland locations.

With these developments in Portland, analysts predict that the most businesses to suffer will be local operators, no matter how big or how small they may be. Analysts cited that regional chains like Safeway, Fred Meyer and Albertsons will be among those that will be affected by these expansions of Target and Wal-Mart. Smaller local stores that may be affected the most include Bale’s Thriftways (operates two stores in the Portland area) or Zupan’s market (operates 3 stores in the area).

For some customers, this development could mean an added option to their grocery shopping. It could mean that they can get lower prices or more choices for organic items. For others who value loyalty to their local stores like Fred Meyer, Target and Wal-Mart stores can only offer them unappealing ambience, unsatisfactory service and goods with low quality. Others, like North Portland resident Nita Corey, said they would have to settle with grocery shopping at Wal-Mart just to save on gas. It would be the wiser choice with the way things are going with the economy right now.