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    Walmart to Build First Nebraska Groceries-Only Store

    OMAHA, Neb. -- Walmart will build a groceries-only location in northwest Omaha, the company's first store of this type in Nebraska, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

    The planned store, located in the 90th and Lake Streets area, will total 34,000 square feet, around one-sixth of the space occupied by Omaha's Walmart Supercenter, at 168th Street and West Maple Road, said Walmart spokesman Ryan Irsik.

    "It is basically a small little Walmart market," said Irsik.

    Walmart's Neighborhood Market store format, along with its small convenience store-style Walmart Express, is part of the company's effort to expand by adapting to the needs of different areas. The "three-format portfolio will drive expansion to urban markets and small towns, as well as fill in gaps in existing markets," Bill Simon, Walmart president, U.S. division, said in a report on capital expenditures plans.

    Although Irsik would not confirm it, Omaha Planning Director Rick Cunningham told the Herald that he understands Walmart has plans for more grocery-only stores in Omaha. He added that the planned store and Walmart's recent commitment to combating food deserts -- low-income areas that are at least one mile from the nearest grocery store -- serve as a hopeful sign that the company will expand into eastern Omaha as well.

    "Our position on any grocery store, especially those going into food deserts, is very positive," Cunningham added.

    Walmart previously announced its intention to build at least 300 stores in food deserts by 2016.

    Products to be sold at the new Omaha store include fresh meats, vegetables, dairy products, dry goods and staples, bakery and deli items, canned and packaged goods, and pet and household supplies, said Irsik, who noted that the store design will fit in with the surrounding neighborhood.

    "We're always looking for opportunities to serve our customers better and closer to home," Irsik said.

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