Walmart to open 37 Neighborhood Markets in Texas

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is returning to its small-town roots with plans to open 37 new Neighborhood Market locations in rural Texas by the end of January, as the retailer turns its focus from supercenter expansion.

The stores, which range from 12,000 sq. ft. to 40,000 sq. ft., will open during the fourth quarter and include a selection of groceries, fresh produce and general merchandise. "We have every category represented, and if something doesn't sell and people want other products and we have it in the warehouse, we'll change it," Terry Mullican, manager of the Edgewood Neighborhood Market, told the Dallas News. The Edgewood store opens Dec. 17.

Roughly 20 percent of Walmart's upcoming small format stores will be in Texas, a big market for one of the retailer's biggest competitors: Dollar General (NYSE:DG). It's also proof that Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is making good on his promise to shift away from supercenters to small formats.

The retailer is also renaming existing Walmart Express stores as Neighborhood Markets to consolidate the small formats under a single banner. Walmart announced in February that it would rev up expansion of all small-format stores. The retailer planned to build 270 to 300 small stores in 12 months, doubling its initial prediction of 120 to 150. This includes the growth of the Neighborhood Market, Express and the Walmart To Go brands.

For more:
-See this Dallas News story

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