ATLANTA -- Continuing its experimentation with convenience-store-like small-format stores, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s has signed a contract with the Georgia Institute of Technology's Auxiliary Services to establish a convenience store concept on the campus of the Atlanta university.
It is the second of the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant's "Walmart on Campus" formats. As reported in CSP Daily News, the first location is in Fayetteville, Ark., on the University of Arkansas.
In early 2012, Walmart said it was finding success with its Walmart Express small-format stores. It opened the first Walmart Express store in Gentry, Ark., in June 2011 and now operates 10 of the stores in several markets including Chicago and North Carolina; however, it previously shuttered its Walmart Marketside medium-format stores.
"We were looking for something that was a nonfood replacement when [the restaurant occupying the retail space] closed," director of auxiliary services Rich Steele told The Technique, the school's newspaper. "Walmart pharmacy was our No. 1 target--there was a good connection with Georgia Tech--the CEO of Walmart had been on campus speaking a year and a half ago. Shortly after that, we started conversations with Walmart just about the idea [of having Walmart on Campus] … and to start some early negotiations. Those negotiations started 11 months ago in February 2012."
The current 2,500-square-foot location will be smaller than the Arkansas store.
"They will carry some electronics, peripherals, a few devices. They may sell some iPods too," Steele said. "They will also sell a lot of grocery items … frozen foods, fresh foods … grab-and-go and beverage items. It's like a mini CVS."
According to Steele, students were happy about the idea of this installment on Tech Square.
"Typically students don't come to the table saying 'Here's what we want'..Usually we throw out some ideas and see what they think," Steele said. "When talking about the Walmart on Campus concept being a pharmacy and extended convenience store, but with a pharmacy that accepts third-party insurance, they felt that would be a good value."
Students will benefit from the lower prices that Walmart stores offer, said the report.
"Also [because] it would have Walmart selections at Walmart prices, this would not be a convenience store like BP over on tenth street," Steele said. "Even our convenience stores on campus have higher pricing than Walmart can offer because of how we have to purchase the product in smaller quantities."
Click here to watch a news video featuring the Fayetteville, Ark., Walmart on Campus.
Wal-Mart Stores operates 10,400 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide.