Trimmed down Walmart hits the mall

Nov. 14, 2011 at 2:40 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Walmart Stores Inc. has opened two pocket-sized stores in California that are, essentially, display stores for the Walmart online, the company said.

The stores at the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park and in downtown San Diego are 1,000 square feet and 3,000 square feet, respectively, little siblings to the Walmart Express stores that average 15,000 square feet and tiny compared to the 180,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenters, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The idea behind the diminutive stores was to "give our local customers easier access to the range of products on, said company spokesman Lorenzo Lopez.

"It's not uncommon for us to test different formats and different offerings in different markets just to learn how customers react," Lopes said.

"It's good to be able to check out devices, and maybe this way I will order something from Walmart when I never would have before," said Los Angeles resident Arash Ehsanian, 35, who scanned while visiting a pocket-sized store.

Another customer, Marisol Hernandez thought Walmart in a mall was "ridiculous."

"They have huge Wal-Mart stores everywhere, and now they're in malls too. That's just too much," she said.

Walmart said it was trying out the concept just for the holiday season and would close the stores before the end of the year.

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