Wal-Mart Express: Dollar Store Competition

Associated Press/ File
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Associated Press/ File

Wal-Mart opened its first Walmart Express store last Wednesday offering up competition to dollar stores and quickie marts across the country. The first Walmart Express is located in the town of Gentry, Arkansas.

According to the Wallstreet Journal, Walmart Express will feature ready-to-go meals and other food for shoppers. The store carries many items that are also available in the regular store including toilet paper, DVDs, stationary, prepaid phones, etc. There is also a pharmacy located in the express stores.

The express stores are only a fraction the size of a regular Walmart. A regular Walmart can house approximately 100,000 items, while the express centers will stock about 11,000-13,000 items.

The second Walmart Express is said to open in Arkansas too. The company plans to open about 15 to 20 more locations this year, mainly in rural areas where a regular Walmart is a reasonably far distance away. They also plan to open up locations in several urban markets including Chicago. Certain locations will feature gasoline stations and most will feature pharmacies.

Walmart also plans to extend its reach in America by expanding its Walmart Market format, which offered the company a 4% increase in same-store sales and higher traffic last quarter. The Walmart Market format offers discounted fresh food.

There are also plans to expand Walmart’s grasp to the college market. The first Walmart on Campus concept was launched at the University of Arkansas.

Walmart also takes suggestions from local customers about what they want to see in stores in order to achieve the right local assortment for the community. Shoppers are also able to order the companies broad online assortment and have the products delivered to Walmart Express locations through Walmart’s “site-to-store” program.

All this growth and expansion of the superpower known as Walmart is great in terms of low prices for consumers, yet one must wonder what affect the expansion will have on smaller businesses offering similar products.