Walmart in a Townhouse? New Mini Prototype

From AP writer Anne D'Innocenzio via the Miami Herald: "In rural Arkansas, the first drugstore-sized Walmart Express store offers a peek at how the world's largest retailer plans to expand in big cities and tiny towns.  The long, narrow concrete box, which features a powder-blue Walmart Express sign, is less than one-tenth of the size of a super center.  The store, which has exposed pipes and yellow walls, carries most of the basics that its bigger cousin carries, from bacon and milk to socks and DVDs.  Wal-Mart is experimenting with a Walmart Express prototype for urban markets in Chicago, to open later this summer.  Walmart's U.S. business has been chipped away by dollar stores, which have adroitly maneuvered the post-recession economy.  Dollar stores [are] expanding quickly, opening stores closer to customers' homes, an advantage in era of high gas prices.  Already, the average round trip to a dollar store is six miles, compared with 30 miles for a typical Wal-Mart trip, Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein estimates."  Full article here.  (Photo credit: Chuck Bartels.)