Recently Walmart unveiled the first of their Walmart Express stores to the press. According to reports, this Gentry, AK store actually looks like a smaller version of Walmart's 180,000 square foot store, even though it's only 15,000 square feet. The store has exposed pipes and yellow walls, carries about one-tenth of what a superstore carries, but still has a varied selection ("from bacon and milk to socks and DVDs," according to one story.)
According to Walmart, most Express locations will have a pharmacy, and some will sell gas. The stores will generally be located in towns too small for a full-sized Walmart, and in cities where a big store doesn't fit. Fifteen to 20 Express stores are planned by the end of January, 2012, mostly in Arkansas, North Carolina and Chicago. Looking ahead, it's possible they will build 350 stores per year.
In the mean time, the world's largest retailer is experimenting a bit. According to a story in the CSP Daily News, Walmart Express will let customers help determine what they should carry by posting signs that say, "If you want it, we'll get it," and by offering delivery right to the store.
Click here for an external picture of the new Walmart Express store.