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The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports that Walmart is taking yet another stab at creating a convenience store format, opening a new one this week in Rogers, Arkansas, that is at the entrance of a Walmart Supercenter.

The 2,500 square foot building, according to the story, "offers a hot food bar where customers can grab paninis, nachos, hot dogs or sausages. There is a walk-in cooler stocked with domestic, imported and craft beer. The store also includes a soft-serve ice cream machine with multiple flavors. Wal-Mart has even stocked the store with a few grocery staples like milk, eggs, frozen meals and pizzas. In addition, pre-made sandwiches and salads are available."

The story goes on: "It's not unusual for Wal-Mart to test smaller-store formats. The company began opening Wal-Mart Express stores with an average size of 12,000 square feet in 2011, but decided to close 102 of them across the U.S last year. Wal-Mart also has opened college campus stores ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet, although some of those have closed as well ... Last year, the retailer began testing a concept called Wal-Mart Pickup and Fuel in Huntsville, Ala., and Thornton, Colo. In addition to fuel stations and convenience selections, customers also can order groceries online and pick them up at those stores the same day."
KC's View:
Walmart has been pretty relentless about testing small store concepts, even after results that have been less that satisfying. They keep trying ... it is sort of like Groundhog Day.

One reason may be that they see these small stores as being potentially an important link in any chain that connects its e-commerce business to consumers; if it can create a successful c-store format that also could serve as a delivery depot for products sold online, it would be seen by some as a legitimate response to Amazon's approach.