A smaller footprint version of Wal-Mart is soon to give c-stores extra competition.
Wal-Mart has begun construction on the first of its Wal-Mart Express stores, which are expected to average less than a tenth of the size of an average Wal-Mart Supercenter, Business Review USA reported.
On March 16, construction is planned on a 14,400 square-foot store in Gentry, Ark., with work on similar stores in nearby Prairie Grove and Gravette to follow in the following weeks, according to Bloomberg.
In addition the Chicago Sun Times reported that another Wal-Mart Express is scheduled to be built on the south side of Chicago. Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has said he wants Wal-Mart and other stores to give him a four-year plan for building in Chicago’s “food deserts,” which lack grocery stores.
Wal-Mart plans to open nearly 40 smaller stores this year rural and urban areas alike, with executives predicting the first store will open for business this May, Business Review USA noted.
Bloomberg has reported that Express stores will cost $1.2 million to build and will sit on lots just under fix acres, based on building permits filed in Gentry and Prairie Grove. The stores are expected to have 75 parking spaces as compared to the nearly 800 parking spaces at a Wal-Mart supercenter. A pharmacy and three or four checkout counters are also planned for the smaller footprint stores, according to Jackie Baker, Prairie Grove’s building and planning director.