BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. quietly debuted its convenience store format by opening the doors of its first Walmart to Go store on Saturday, March 15. The official grand opening is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, according to media reports.
Saturday served as a "soft" opening for the approximately 2,500-square-foot store, located in Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s hometown of Bentonville, Ark., at 1300 S. Walton Blvd., employees told the Fort Smith City Wire.
Cashiers are located at the center of the store, which offers standard convenience goods such as tobacco products, magazines and an ATM, along with a flower stand and Hallmark cards.
"One of the unique aspects of the store is [that] all the items are priced at Walmart everyday low prices," stated Deisha Barnett, senior director of corporate communications. "We're really excited about it."
Walmart teamed with Bentonville Butcher & Deli to offer a quick-service meat counter in the store that offers fresh deli sandwiches, barbecue brisket, ribs, smoked chicken and side dishes by the plate or the pound. Other food and beverage offerings include refrigerated market-fresh pizzas, sandwiches and other meat entrees; fresh fruit; a Greek yogurt station; a Krispy Kreme doughnut stand; a soda fountain that also offers milkshakes and ICEE drinks; and a full coffee/cappuccino area. A seating area is located toward the front of the store.
One side of the store is designed to be a mini-grocery that occupies five aisles and offers packaged food and non-edible items such as diapers, according to the report.
Outside, a covered awning connects the front door to the gas station area, which features six fuel pumps. A picnic area is also available outside for those who want to eat there in warmer weather.
"We're about bringing value to shoppers whenever and wherever they want to shop," Barnett added. "It's a quick stop — gas, a couple of items. It's about where they want to shop, when they want to shop."
Although the company is testing a grocery delivery service at www.WalmartToGo.com, the Walmart to Go store is a test concept, with no other locations planned, Barnett said.