Is Cloud 9 In ‘Superstore’ Based On Walmart?

Superstore cast photo
‘Superstore’ cast|(Chris Haston/NBC/NBC Photo Bank)

Perhaps no TV show understands the workplace comedy better than Superstore. Anyone who works in retail understands the antics the employees of the fictional Cloud 9 deal with every shift. The show stars America Ferrera as Amy Sosa, a floor supervisor at Cloud 9. Ben Feldmen, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nico Santos, Nichole Bloom, Mark McKinney, and Kaliko Kauahi also make up the main cast. All of the actors play employees at the fictional big-box store.

The show has been praised for its realistic portrayal of the working class. Some fans and critics also noticed Cloud 9’s similarities to other big-box stores. So is Superstore based off of a big-box store like Walmart?

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There are striking similarities between Cloud 9 and Walmart

In the show, the group of employees work at a Cloud 9 located in St. Louis, Missouri. Like Walmart, Cloud 9 is a chain and has store locations all over the world. The fictional Cloud 9 is a corporation with a corporate headquarters. The inside of a Cloud 9 looks very similar to Walmart with high ceilings, blue decor, and bright fluorescent lights. The employees at Cloud 9 also wear blue vests similar to the uniform worn by Walmart employees.

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Target is Cloud 9’s main competitor in the show

In Superstore, Cloud 9’s main competitor is Target. As part of a running gag, Cloud 9 employees sometimes debate leaving for a job at Target. For a few episodes, a former Cloud 9 employee pretended to work at Target and he encouraged other employees to quit Cloud 9 too. Even though Cloud 9 is fictional, Target exists in the same universe as Cloud 9 and in real life. Target is also one of the real-life competitors to Walmart. However, Walmart is not a competitor to Cloud 9 on the show. So maybe in Superstore, Cloud 9 represents a fictional Walmart as Target’s main competitor.

‘Superstore’ filmed the pilot inside a K-Mart

While most fans and critics speculate Walmart inspired Cloud 9, the Superstore production team filmed the pilot of the show inside a K-Mart. The store’s real-life employees remodeled the store to appear like the fictional Cloud 9. 

“One of our biggest tasks was remodeling the entire store to transform it into the ‘Cloud 9’ superstore as depicted in the script,” said Carrie Ricketts. “This meant all of our red signage needed to be replaced with blue signage.”

The K-Mart remained open for the 16 days it took to shoot the pilot, and customers and K-Mart employees observed a lot of the filming process. The actors in Superstore also got on-the-job practice after being mistaken as K-Mart employees by customers. 

“Besides being actors, the cast of Superstore almost became honorary K-Mart associates after being asked a bunch of times where certain items in the store were located,” said Ricketts

While no one from Superstore has confirmed Cloud 9 is modeled after Walmart, there are several similarities between the two stores. Regardless of the influence, Superstore is one of the funniest and most realistic shows on television, and fans can’t wait for it to return for a fifth season in the fall.