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Feel This Moment – Walmart Teams Up with Pitbull, Again

When Walmart CEO Doug McMillon defined adaptive retail at this year’s CES, he skipped one very important aspect of the the largest retailer in the world:


Also known as Mr. Worldwide, the name fits as the restaurant branch of the rapper/singer/songwriter/actor/entrepreneur’s multimedia empire will find a new captive audience: Nevada-going shoppers inside a Walmart in Henderson, Nev., adjacent to the Vegas strip where Mr. 305 – as he’s also known – recently toured along with Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias. Mr. Bull is an equity partner of Miami Grill, a fast-casual restaurant that serves wings, burgers, gyros, and cheesesteaks, first established in Key West in 1983. Almost 40 years later, the ribbon-cutting ceremony just occurred (Sat., Feb. 24).

Mr. Wal-wide is in town. Three to five more Miami Grills are planned for the Las Vegas area.

“We’re looking forward to becoming part of the Las Vegas culinary scene,” said Jonathan H. Vogel, COO of Miami Grill, to Eater Las Vegas.

For Pitbull (real name: Armando Christian Perez), it’s not even his first collaboration with Walmart – that came in 2012 when he starred in an advertising campaign where whichever Walmart received the most Facebook “likes” would be rewarded with a store visit and concert. After an #ExilePitbull” campaign went viral, the winning store with over 70,000 likes was in Kodiak, Alaska, where after being presented the key to the city, Pitbull did, in fact, put on a show.

The King of Miami has reunited with Walmart once more. And it’s just the first step of a larger plan.

Hit the Floor (At Your Local Walmart) 

The Pitbull-launched intra-store restaurant is part of a larger, $9 billion plan to make “upscale changes” to stores and bring in more recognizable and coveted brands and influencers. For Walmart, pairing with the king of collaborations is a natural choice.

But the plan to retool, revamp, and re-engage consumers via their stomachs has been in the offing for quite some time. Walmart has partnered with billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore to further disrupt the retail space (and throw another gauntlet down in the ongoing grocery wars with Target, Amazon, Kroger, and more) by partnering with his ghost kitchen company, Wonder, to offer food-hall like brands within Walmart stores around the country. Ten “fast-fine” concepts operated by Wonder within Walmart stores are already in place.

The eleventh Wonder-owned concept is slated to open in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, with the following concepts: 

  • Alanza Pizza
  • Tejas Barbecue
  • Yasas by Michael Symon (Greek)
  • Fred Meat & Bread (sandwiches)
  • Limesalt (Mexican)
  • Wing Trip
  • Burger Baby
  • Room for Dessert 

Lore is well known as the former Walmart president and CEO of Walmart e-commerce who thrust Walmart into direct competition with Amazon by forcing it to invest in the infrastructure needed to take on the e-commerce giant. RetailWire recently reported that, “The single kitchen inside the Fast Fine in Walmart’s Quakertown, Pa., location handles menus from eight restaurants with a fast-casual emphasis,” and besides offering Walmart-going shoppers a plethora of food options, the kitchen will also accommodate mobile pickup, further taking advantage of a system many retail shoppers take advantage of – swift pickup without leaving their vehicles.

“Our new Wonder opening at Walmart Quakertown gives us an exciting opportunity to bring our great food and menu options to even more customers,” Wonder chief growth and marketing officer Daniel Shlossman said in a statement. “We’re dedicated to scaling our unique model and bringing ‘fast-fine’ dining to new, loyal customer bases.”

Wonder achieved a $3.5 billion valuation after raising over $350 million in capital in 2022. Since then, Wonder acquired Blue Apron for $103 million and recently reported a $100 million investment with a new strategic partnership with Nestle. Over the next five years, Walmart plans to build or renovate over 150 stores and remodel over 650 across the country, pushing the total American footprint to over 5,000 stores.

That’s a lot of real estate, a lot of product, and a lot of opportunity for entrepreneurs – from Pitbull to Lore – to further solidify their brands and help Walmart reach new consumers.