Wal-Mart Stores, Inc announced today that it plans on opening its first convenience store just blocks from its home office in Bentonville in the spring of 2014. The new store will be located on 14th St. and customers will be able to purchase fuel, snacks as well as grocery staples. It is a one of a kind store for the retail giant who’s spokesperson says it has no plans to build any additional stores of this kind but is excited to test the market in this area.
In 2011 Wal-Mart introduced a smaller version of its stores called Wal-Mart Express in Northwest Arkansas with a 12,000 – 15,000 square foot store called Wal-Mart Express. The stores were designed as a “hybrid store”, larger than a convenience store but significantly smaller than the supercenters that average over 100,000 sq. foot. Some of the Wal-Mart Express stores offer gasoline and most have a pharmacy as well as groceries. The “Express” stores offer convenience and flexibility to the smaller markets that lack the larger stores. In Northwest Arkansas you can find a Wal-Mart Express in Gentry, AR and Gravette, AR.
Currently Wal-Mart Stores, Inc continues its expansion into the Downtown Bentonville market with the redevelopment of the Midtown Shopping Center on NW 2nd St., formerly the home of Harp’s and several smaller businesses. Anchoring the new center will be a new Neighborhood Market, Wal-Mart’s version of a grocery store without the hardlines departments. The new Midtown Center will also have additional retail space and will continue to grow the downtown shopping and entertainment experience. There will also be additional office space and a three level parking garage. Noted Bentonville Mayor Bob McCaslin, “The revitalization of the Midtown Shopping Center is a critical step to keep the City of Bentonville and its signature downtown square on a path of continued prosperity.”