Walmart Express stores significantly smaller than retail storesKnown for its mammoth-sized stores, Wal-Mart is trying out a new strategy as it aims to achieve business cost reductions, reports The New York Times.

The world's biggest retail chain opened a new store in Gentry, Arkansas, this week that is significantly smaller than its standard stores. The Walmart Express store that opened in the sleepy Arkansas town represents the retailer's shift toward improving its operating margins. What's more, it shows a new retail sourcing strategy that the Arkansas-based giant is beginning to employ as it feels competition from dollar stores amid a tepid economic environment.

The store is essentially a much smaller version of the Wal-Mart warehouses many Americans are used to. At one-tenth the size of an average Wal-Mart store, the Walmart Express garnered a lot of attention from residents, who executives hope will flock to the smaller stores for everything from everyday grocery items to socks and DVDs.

The selection is still vast at roughly 11,000 to 13,000 items, but it's far less than the 100,000 plus items that Wal-Mart retail stores sell. Still, the company hopes families in a pinch will go to the Walmart Express stores instead of their competitors.

The company is also experimenting with the new format in urban centers like Chicago, which have thus far shunned the retail chain's attempts to enter. A Walmart Express will open in Chicagoland this summer.
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