Retail

Walmart Plans More Convenience Stores

Walmart

Walmart has opened another convenience store, this time launching a Walmart Fuel Station in Plano, Texas.

"It is another way Walmart is offering our customers choice and convenience that save them time," wrote Walmart spokesperson Anne Hatfield in an email to Retail Dive.

The 2,900-square-foot, brand-new location features eight fuel pumps and a store with grab-and-go deli items, pizza by the slice, roller dogs, other hot foods, a wall of cold beverages and a walk-in beer cooler, she added. The Plano fuel station is similar to stores recently opened in Crowley, Texas and Rogers, Arkansas.

Hatfield added that Walmart is planning three more in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, which will be constructed in the parking lots of supercenters without fuel stations. They are expected to open by the end of the year. The company had already tested convenience stores in Huntsville, Alabama and Thornton, Colorado that feature pickup of online grocery orders.

While Walmart is scaling back on its brick-and-mortar store openings, it is working to boost its eCommerce offerings. For example, the retail giant launched pickup towers and pickup lockers to enable customers to receive merchandise such as televisions. The company said it is receiving an “overwhelming positive” reception and that customers have picked up more than a half million orders since its introduction.

In May, the company revealed that its U.S. eCommerce sales grew 33 percent in the first quarter, up from the 23 percent in Q4. Walmart continues to forecast 40 percent growth in online sales for 2018.

“We’ve made a number of announcements of strategic moves we believe will strengthen our position around the world, [and] Q1 is a good example of why we are able to do that,” said CFO Brett Biggs. “We are in a great financial position and the underlying business was very strong.”

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