‘Walmart to Go’ convenience-store format opens in Bentonville, US

Walmart to goAfter more than a year of planning, the American ‘Walmart to Go’ convenience-store format quietly opened in Bentonville, US, on Saturday 15 March, with the grand opening set for 19 March 2014.

The small store is a hybrid format — part traditional convenience store, part grocery, part quick serve restaurant. Walmart partnered with Bentonville Butcher & Deli, one of the more popular names around in terms of quality meat, to operate a quick serve meat counter in the back of the store.  Fresh deli sandwiches or hot barbecue brisket, ribs, smoked chicken and traditional sides were available by the plate or by the pound.

Krispy Kreme has a donut stand between the beverage stations. There is a traditional soda fountain, ‘Icee’ fountain, milk shake option and full coffee/cappuccino area.

Walmart to go 1Refrigerated food-to-go includes market fresh pizzas, sandwiches and other meat entrees. There is also fresh fruit and a Greek yoghurt smoothie station.

The convenience store also features six fuel pumps out front with a covered awning that sports the Walmart sunburst on the underside. One unusual feature is a large awning that connects the pump area to the front door. There is a picnic area outdoors to seat those wanting to eat onsite.

With this new convenience format Wal-Mart hopes to capture some of the $415 billion quick trip marketshare it is losing to Dollar General and other convenience stores. Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said earlier this month that the retailer has just 10% of that marketshare and is vying for more with the hybrid stores that can serve consumer fill-in trips, which Walmart estimates to be 40% of their grocery spend.