Walmart is planning to extend its reach into the convenience-store channel this year, beginning with a c-store that opened July 11 in Plano, Texas, according to a report by The Dallas Morning News.
So far, the big-box chain has only dabbled in the c-store channel. But the opening of a 2,900-square-foot location with eight fuel pumps in Plano marks a revisiting of the strategy, including three more stores to open in the Dallas-Fort Worth area later this year.
The stores are in Supercenter parking lots that did not already have gasoline pumps, according to the newspaper report.
The stores will be larger than the company’s previous fuel kiosks located in the parking lots of many of its Supercenters. The company has yet to name the concept.
Rather than just fuel and a small selection of snacks, candy and beverages, these new c-stores offer an expanded hot food, snack and beverage selection; soft-serve ice cream; and a full assortment of convenience merchandise, according to the report.
The company is planning to open three more c-stores in Arlington, Lake Worth and Lewisville, Texas, later this year, Walmart spokesperson Anne Hatfield told the newspaper. No free-standing locations are planned for now, she said.
Walmart opened a lone Walmart to Go c-store in its home base of Bentonville, Ark., in 2014. It is a 5,200-square-foot traditional c-store with fuel. In 2016, it opened two 4,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Pickup With Fuel c-stores in Madison, Ala., and Thornton, Colo. Wal-Mart debuted the new c-store concept for its Supercenters in 2017, with two 2,500-square-foot pilot locations in Rogers, Ark., and Crowley, Texas.
A version of this story was published by WGB's sister publication, CSP.