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CHICAGO — Walmart’s first convenience store has been big news in the c-store industry, and the firm that designed it, Api(+) opened up about Walmart's new concept, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The 5,200 square foot c-store opened in March, close to Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. To Go has eight gas pumps, a selection of both fresh and packaged foods, coffee, basic home products and a deli, notes the article.
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The prices are similar to Walmart’s regular stores, which make them much cheaper than most c-stores. "You can't have Walmart on the side and then have high prices,'' said Tom Henken, vice president and director of design for Api(+).
The store was designed not to look like just another c-store, said Henken. "We wanted it not to look like a fuel-based concept, he said. "If you tore the pumps off, it would look more like a restaurant.''
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There are doubts over the location's ability to be successful financially, said Steven Montgomery, the president of b2b solutions. The lower volume of products sold, small profit margins with gasoline and high operating cost are all challenges Walmart is facing with its To Go location, he said in the article.
The store is a test concept, the article notes, and there are no additional plans for more locations.
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